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Jammin' the Blues (1944)

Approved | | Short , Music | 5 May 1944 (USA)
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.

Director:

Gjon Mili
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

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

Genres:

Short | Music

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 May 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Играя блюз See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 1995, Jammin' the Blues was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sweet and Lowdown (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Jammin' the Blues
(uncredited)
Written by Lester Young
Performed by Lester Young, John Simmons, Harry Edison, Marlowe Morris, Jo Jones, Barney Kessel, and Illinois Jacquet
Jitterbug danced by Marie Bryant and Archie Savage
See more »

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User Reviews

Amazing
28 April 2004 | by RT FireflySee all my reviews

Wow, it is hard to believe this film was made in 1944. If it were released today, sixty years later, it would still be regarded as stylish and avant-garde. I caught this on a cable channel in the US called Turner Classic Movies (TCM). It was the lead off short in a series of musical shorts compiled to form a two or three hour special. I cannot stress how ahead of it's time this film was. The photography was very clever, such as using Lester Young's hat as a indefinable symbol in the opening shot, pulling back as Lester raises his head revealing his face. A "jam" session opens the short, Marie Bryant sings "On the Sunny Side of the Street" with velvety perfection, then another number which features jitterbug dancers. A good film to show today's artists that clever ideas didn't begin with their generation.

Good news for Jazz fans, I understand Rhino has released a compilation titled ‘Hollywood Swing & Jazz' comprised of numbers from these old musical shorts, which features, among others, the Marie Bryant number from this film.


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