20 user 3 critic

Jammin' the Blues (1944)

Approved | | Documentary, 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.


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


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


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

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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 »


[first lines]
Narrator: This - is a jam session. Quite often, these great artists gather and play, ad lib, hot music. It could be called a midnight symphony.
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Featured in Added Attractions: The Hollywood Shorts Story (2002) See more »


Jammin' the Blues
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
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User Reviews

Cool for cats
8 September 2003 | by kennethwright45See all my reviews

Simply but imaginatively filmed studio-set performance short, a perfect match of music and images that defines the very coolness of cool and the hipness of hip. The precise visual and musical arrangements give the lie to its claim to be a record of a jam session: what it is, is a pop video - every bit as stylised and knowing as that implies, and all the better for it. Among the very best music films ever made, and almost certainly the most cinematic. These cats are solid gone, daddy-o ...

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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


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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