Z2 Comics, Blue Note Records to Publish ‘Enter the Blue’ Graphic Novel

Working in collaboration with Blue Note Records, Z2 Comics plans to publish Enter The Blue by Dave Chisholm, a graphic novel that tells a supernatural tale about the origin of the legendary Jazz record label and its founders Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff. Enter The Blue by Dave Chisholm will be published in January 2022.

Enter the Blue is the story of Jessie Choi, a young female Jazz trumpeter, and her musical mentor Jimmy Hightower, an OG Jazz bass player who collapses into a comatose state while on the bandstand performing. Choi, who became discouraged about her trumpet playing and stopped performing, believes that Jimmy collapsed because he’s been pulled into a mysterious realm called “the Blue,” a metaphyiscal musical realm filled with the ghosts of great Jazz musicians. In her search for the soul of Jimmy, Choi takes the reader on a journey through a secret history of the celebrated legacy of Blue Note Records, its two founders, and the label’s groundbreaking impact on the history of Jazz.

“As someone who has performed and obsessed over this music some folks call "jazz" for most of my life, I've always loved Blue Note Records. The incredible performances, the amazing sounds, the impeccable graphic design,” David Chisholm said. “The history of Blue Note in so many ways follows the history of this music. From Sidney Bechet to Miles Davis & John Coltrane, to Ornette Coleman and Herbie Hancock, to present-day giants like Ambrose Akinmusire—virtually every single major figure in this history has recorded for them in some way or another.”

Blue Note Records approached Chisholm and Z2 about doing a different kind of history of the record company. According to Chisholm, who wrote and drew the graphic novel, the record company did not want a straight nonfiction account of its history.

“Blue Note Records president Don Was and crew let me know that they wanted a work of fiction—something that spoke to the past and the future of this music,” Chisholm said. “In that very meeting, my imagination ignited, and the sparks of a story started—a story involving the disappearance of the wise old mentor and his student's desperate attempts to find and rescue him, along with her subsequent deep dive into the secret history of Blue Note Records—and some kind of mysterious phenomenon kindled by this music—something whispered at jam sessions called ‘The Blue’,” said Chisholm.

Enter the Blue will be published in hardcover and paperback editions in January 2022. The book will also be available in a deluxe slipcased hardcover edition that includes an exclusive vinyl LP and print set. The deluxe edition can be preordered via the Z2 Comics website. Z2 Comics specializes in graphic works about music. The house published Chisholm’s acclaimed 2020 graphic biography,  Chasin’ the Bird: Charlie Parker In California.

Blue Note Records president Don Was, said, “With a musician’s sensibility and a poet’s hand, Dan Chisholm has crafted a rare peek behind the curtain into the inner workings of jazz. Enter the Blue eloquently explains the fearless creativity, innovative spirit, and artistic depth that has characterized the Blue Note tradition since 1939. We’re honored to participate with Z2 and Dave in this awesome undertaking.”

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