Blue Serge

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Blue Serge
Chaloff BlueSerge.jpg
Studio album by
Released1956 (1956)
RecordedMarch 14 & 16, 1956
StudioCapitol Studios
ProducerBill Miller
Serge Chaloff chronology
Boston Blow–Up!
Blue Serge
Alternative cover
2004 Definitive Records re-release
2004 Definitive Records re-release

Blue Serge is an album by jazz baritone saxophonist Serge Chaloff, and released by Capitol Records in 1956. It was recorded on March 14 and 16, 1956 at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles, California.


Professional ratings
Review scores
All Music Guide to Jazz(favorable)[1]
Penguin Guide to Jazz4/4 stars
(Core Collection)[2]
Allmusic.com4/5 stars[3]
The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide5/5 stars[4]

David Szatmary, writing for All Music Guide to Jazz, described Blue Serge as "[a]n indispensable session by one of the great underrated baritone sax players...."[1]

Richard Cook and Brian Morton of The Penguin Guide to Jazz wrote, "Chaloff's masterpiece is both vigorous and moving, not for the knowledge that he was so near his own death but for the unsentimental rigour of the playing. 'Thanks for the Memory' is overpoweringly beautiful as Chaloff creates a series of melodic variations which match the improviser's ideal of fashioning an entirely new song. 'Stairway to the Stars' is almost as fine, and the thoughtful 'The Goof and I' and 'Susie's Blues' show that Chaloff still had plenty of ideas about what could be done with a bebopper's basic materials. This important session has retained all its power."[2] The Penguin Guide includes both Blue Serge and the Definitive Records pairing of Blue Serge with Boston Blow–Up! as part of its suggested "Core Collection," and gives both releases a four-star rating (of a possible four).[2]

Scott Yanow, writing for, described Blue Serge as Chaloff's best recording, noting that the saxophonist had already contracted spinal paralysis.[3]

Track listing[edit]

1."A Handful of Stars"Lawrence, Shapiro5:33
2."The Goof and I"Cohn4:45
3."Thanks for the Memory"Rainger, Robin3:46
4."All the Things You Are"Hammerstein, Kern5:24
5."I've Got the World on a String"Arlen, Koehler6:44
6."Susie's Blues"Chaloff5:08
7."Stairway to the Stars"Malneck, Parish, Signorelli4:50
8."How About You?"Freed, Heusen, Lane5:23


Release history[edit]

In 2004, Definitive Records released Blue Serge and Boston Blow Up! together on a single CD, which presented the tracks in reverse chronological order of recording.[5]

Region Date Label Format Catalog
United States 1956 Capitol LP
European Union 2004[5] Definitive single CD with Blue Serge and Boston Blow Up! DRCD11261
United States 1998 Blue Note CD


  1. ^ a b Szatmary, David (1994), Ron Wynn, ed., All Music Guide to Jazz, M. Erlewine, V. Bogdanov, San Francisco: Miller Freeman, p. 144, ISBN 0-87930-308-5
  2. ^ a b c Cook, Richard; Brian Morton (2008) [1992]. The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings. The Penguin Guide to Jazz (9th ed.). New York: Penguin. pp. 239–240. ISBN 978-0-14-103401-0.
  3. ^ a b Yanow, Scott. "Blue Serge: Review". allmusic. Rovi Corp. Retrieved August 23, 2010.
  4. ^ Swenson, J., ed. (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 40. ISBN 0-394-72643-X.
  5. ^ a b Jurek, Thom. "Blue Serge/Boston Blow Up: Review". allmusic. Rovi Corp. Retrieved August 23, 2010.