MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 25,681 this week

Jammin' the Blues (1944)

 -  Short | Music  -  5 May 1944 (USA)
7.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 501 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 2 critic

This Warner Bros. short is a jam session with several outstanding African-American jazz musicians, including Lester Young. Darkly lit and with a mood that matches the music, the film was ... See full summary »

Director:

0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

Related News

Cannes Classics 2012 Lineup
| MUBI

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 10 titles
created 12 Feb 2011
 
a list of 591 titles
created 23 Jan 2013
 
list image
a list of 250 titles
created 13 May 2013
 
a list of 1183 titles
created 4 months ago
 
a list of 90 titles
created 3 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Jammin' the Blues (1944)

Jammin' the Blues (1944) on IMDb 7.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Jammin' the Blues.
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A man, objecting to being filmed, comes closer and closer to the camera lens until his mouth is all we see. Then he opens wide and swallows camera and cinematographer. He steps back, chews, and grins.

Director: James Williamson
Stars: Sam Dalton
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Set in a leper colony in the north of Iran, The House is Black juxtaposes "ugliness," of which there is much in the world as stated in the opening scenes, with religion and gratitude.

Director: Forugh Farrokhzad
Stars: Forugh Farrokhzad, Ebrahim Golestan, Hossein Mansouri
Improvisation (1950)
Short | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Director: Gjon Mili
Stars: Ella Fitzgerald, Coleman Hawkins, Hank Jones
I Won't Play (1944)
Certificate: Passed Short | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In this Warner Bros. short, a Marine in a South Sea island during World War II, Joe Fingers, tells tales of the influence he's had on various personalities. In the words of one of his ... See full summary »

Director: Crane Wilbur
Stars: Dane Clark, Janis Paige, Warren Douglas
Cosmic Ray (1962)
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Experimental short uses Ray Charles' "What'd I Say" as accompaniment to constantly shifting collage of female nude, cartoons, and newsreels of atomic bomb explosions.

Director: Bruce Conner
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

This short film is a parody of some of Ingmar Bergman's best known films, including Wild Strawberries (Smultronstaellet) and The Seventh Seal (Det Sjunde Inseglet). The dialog, seemingly in... See full summary »

Directors: George Coe, Anthony Lover
Stars: Pamela Burrell, George Coe, Sid Davis
Barres (1984)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Director: Luc Moullet
Stars: Jean Abeillé, Jean-Pierre Bonneau, André Chauchat
Documentary | Short | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

An early example of ultra-realism, this movie contrasts the quiet, bucolic life in the outskirts of Paris with the harsh, gory conditions inside the nearby slaughterhouses. Describes the ... See full summary »

Director: Georges Franju
Stars: Georges Hubert, Nicole Ladmiral, Alfred Macquart
Suspense (1913)
Short | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An isolated house in deserted area is too remote for a servant, who leaves a note, quietly exits the back door, and puts the key under the mat. Alone in the house is a mother and her infant... See full summary »

Directors: Phillips Smalley, Lois Weber
Stars: Lois Weber, Val Paul, Douglas Gerrard
Glas (1958)
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Director: Bert Haanstra
In the Street (1948)
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Images of street life in New York's Spanish Harlem during the 1940s.

Directors: James Agee, Helen Levitt, and 1 more credit »
Animation | Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A series of dark and troubling events forces Bill to reckon with the meaning of his life - or lack thereof.

Director: Don Hertzfeldt
Stars: Don Hertzfeldt
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Lester Young ...
Himself - on Tenor Sax
George 'Red' Callender ...
Himself - on Bass (as Red Callender)
Harry Edison ...
Himself - on Trumpet
Marlowe Morris ...
Himself - on Piano
Sidney Catlett ...
Himself - on Drums
Barney Kessel ...
Himself - on Guitar
Jo Jones ...
Himself - on Drums (as Joe Jones)
John Simmons ...
Himself - on Bass
Illinois Jacquet ...
Himself - on Tenor Sax
Marie Bryant ...
Herself - Singer and Dancer
Archie Savage ...
Himself - Dancer
Edit

Storyline

This Warner Bros. short is a jam session with several outstanding African-American jazz musicians, including Lester Young. Darkly lit and with a mood that matches the music, the film was groundbreaking in its day and was a showcase for then lesser-known musicians and entertainers who would not otherwise have had exposure to a much larger audience. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

musician | session | jazz | jitterbug | dancer | See more »

Genres:

Short | Music

Certificate:

Approved
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 May 1944 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Guitarist Barney Kessel is the only white performer in this film. He was seated in the shadows to shade his skin, and for close-ups, his hands were stained with berry juice. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sweet and Lowdown (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Midnight Symphony
(uncredited)
Written by Lester Young
Performed by Lester Young and group
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
One more time, for old time's sake.
19 July 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Back in the forties, jazz was still very much caught in the shadow of its mothering countries determination that it was "the Devil's music", and so was very often neglected to being heard only in brothels, cheap bars, or if chance would have it, at home on your own record player should you have been so fortunate to have such money combined with a lack of reverence for current social climate. So, while it was becoming common during Cinema's golden age to slap out these jazz/blues musical shorts produced on low budgets and screened for the sake of making any buck the production company could, the experience of going to see this music performed on a giant screen where stars like Bogart and Hepburn would grace nevertheless was a fantastic one. Nowadays of course, jazz is very much regarded as stuffy old-man music that university professors and neurotic Jewish comedians listen to in between Strauss and Brahms. Not only this, but our very own 21st century devil music has hours upon hours of footage devoted to it, live, staged or otherwise—most of which exceeds the budget for Jammin' the Blues by staggering amounts. Why then, when watching this sixty year old relic do I get the impression that most music productions from here on in went down, rather than up- hill? The answer of course lies heavily in taste; many teenagers these days will look at this stuff and laugh before logging into YouTube and watching the latest Chipmunk music video, drooling over the tits, ass and "bling". But then, you have to wonder if said video would ever be considered by the United States National Film Registry as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". The answer, in all likelihood, is a blunt and simple no. But, I have to ask, why?

Well, simply put, Jammin' the Blues, although ostensibly a music video in all respects, is a little more than that. It defines an era, and it does so with an artistry that many films of the time were only just discovering—mainly in France. Combining the rhythm and blues of this great jazz band consisting of Lester Young, Red Callender, Harry Edison, Marlowe Morris, Sid Catlett, Barney Kessel (who, being the only white man in the band, had to be casted in shadow as to preserve the nation's delirium that white and black people could not coexist in such a unit), Jo Jones, John Simmons, Illinois Jacquet, Marie Bryant, Archie Savage and Garland Finney, with the stylish film-noir-type cinematography implemented by first-time director Gjon Mili (primarily known for his still photography until this time), Jammin' the Blues not only captures these great musicians at their peak, but also defines a musical and social era, as well as a cinematic one. Opening with a simple shot relaying the titles for the film gradually pulling back to reveal Lester Young's hat just as he takes the lead before divulging in many great shots highlighting each of the players in interesting and complementary angles, Mili achieves something unique and interesting to watch, something that's culturally significant and, well, downright entertaining at the same time. Most importantly however is that it's perhaps one of the most succinct and memorable miniature portraits of the jazz-age (little of which was deemed appropriate for the screen until long after its heyday) known to exist. For that reason amongst a multitude of others, Jammin' the Blues is a rare treat for all music and cinema fans alike, offering ten minutes with Young and Callender and the gang as they tear it up one more time for old time's sake.


5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
See This Film Online wglenn
Jammin' the Blues on CD wglenn
Discuss Jammin' the Blues (1944) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page