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Blue Note - A Story of Modern Jazz (1997)

"It must 'schwing!'" was the motto of Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff, two German Jewish immigrants who in 1939 set up Blue Note Records, the jazz label that was home to such greats as Miles ... See full summary »




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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Freddie Hubbard ...
Gil Melle ...
Horace Silver ...
Johnny Griffin ...
Himself (as John Arnold Griffin III)
Ron Carter ...
Maurice Cullaz ...
Ruth Lion ...
Herself - Alfred's wife
Hans Borgelt ...
Himself - historian
Brigitte Mira ...
Konrad Kellen ...
Himself - writer
Lorraine Gordon ...
Herself - Lion's first wife
Thea Dispeker ...
Herself - booking agent


"It must 'schwing!'" was the motto of Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff, two German Jewish immigrants who in 1939 set up Blue Note Records, the jazz label that was home to such greats as Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, Thelonious Monk, Art Blakey, Dexter Gordon and Sonny Rollins.Blue Note, the most successful movie ever made about jazz, is a testimony to the passion and vision of these two men and certainly swings like the propulsive sounds that made their label so famous.The only documentary about the legendary Jazz record label includes original footage from concert recordings by Blue Note label artists, original footage of Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff and interviews with Carlos Santana, Rudy Van Gelder, Horace Silver, Herbie Hancock among others.Grammy nominated for "Best Long Form Music Video" in 1997, Blue Note also went on to earn a Peabody Award (1998), Vision Award (1998) and a Rocky Award nomination.

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Plot Keywords:

jazz | See All (1) »


Documentary | Music




Release Date:

1 October 1999 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Blue Note  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

DEM 59,112 (Germany) (17 April 1998)


DEM 59,112 (Germany) (17 April 1998)

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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User Reviews

21 April 2005 | by See all my reviews

i can't agree with the previous comments. this isn't a concert film it's a documentary of blue note records, its aims, its history and accomplishments, its genesis, its impact, the milieu, and even the nuts and bolts.

the idea that people would rather talk about music than play it is silly, are the two mutually exclusive? jazz is played on the radio on at least hundreds of stations at all hours of the day, every day, as well as live at clubs every night. yet there are only a handful of documentary films about it. is there really an annoying glut of jazz docs? does it really crowd out the actual music itself? of course people should listen to the music itself, but a film like this just adds rich context, behind the scenes history, & insight into the characters on the scene that you don't get from listening to the music alone. it can only add to ones appreciation. i thought it was beautiful

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