IMDb > Jammin' the Blues (1944)
Jammin' the Blues
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Jammin' the Blues (1944) More at IMDbPro »


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7.9/10   642 votes »
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Down 14% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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Release Date:
5 May 1944 (USA) See more »
Created under the guidance of jazz impresario and Verve Records founder Norman Granz, this short captures the spontaneity of a jam session and is one of few film records of black jazzers of the day including tenor sax legend Lester Young. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 1 win See more »
(3 articles)
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User Reviews:
I'm not into the blues, but boy did they make the most of this film. See more (18 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

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
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Garland Finney ... Himself (uncredited)

Knox Manning ... Narrator (uncredited)

Directed by
Gjon Mili 
Produced by
Gordon Hollingshead .... producer
Cinematography by
Robert Burks (photographed by)
Film Editing by
Everett Dodd (film editor)
Art Direction by
Roland E. Hill Sr.  (as Roland Hill)
Sound Department
Charles David Forrest .... sound
Other crew
Norman Granz .... technical director
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
10 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
UK:U | USA:Approved (PCA #10495)

Did You Know?

Director Gjon Mili had been an award-winning still photographer for Life magazine but had never made a movie before.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Sweet and Lowdown (1999)See more »
Midnight SymphonySee more »


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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
I'm not into the blues, but boy did they make the most of this film., 20 September 2009
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida

I can see why this film was Oscar-nominated for Best Live Action Short, as it was constructed masterfully. Even if you don't particularly like the Blues, you can easily appreciate this film. It is simply very well made, though for the life of me, I can't see why director Gjon Mili only got to direct one film--this one. In other words, the film is nominated and yet the director didn't get any sort of career boost. As for the black performers, I could understand this not causing their careers to shift into high gear, as unfortunately most of white society have indifference (or worse) for blacks or "that kind of music".

If you do watch this film, if you aren't particularly enjoying the earlier portion, skip ahead to about the 5:50 mark--where it picks up considerably. When the lady stopped singing and the performers began to improvise, the pace improved quite a bit.

UPDATE: I saw this short once again and was MUCH more impressed the second time. That's because I just finished watching an 11 hour DVD collection of the Vitaphone musical shorts and it was by far the best in the set--mostly due to director Gjon Mili's brilliant touch. See this one!!

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See more (18 total) »


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