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Blue Note - A Story of Modern Jazz (1997)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Music | TV Movie 1 October 1999
"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 »


Julian Benedikt
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Freddie Hubbard Freddie Hubbard ... Himself
Gil Melle Gil Melle ... Himself
Herbie Hancock ... Himself
Horace Silver Horace Silver ... Himself
Carlos Santana ... Himself
Johnny Griffin Johnny Griffin ... Himself (as John Arnold Griffin III)
Bertrand Tavernier ... Himself
Ron Carter Ron Carter ... Himself
Maurice Cullaz Maurice Cullaz ... Himself
Ruth Lion Ruth Lion ... Herself - Alfred's wife
Hans Borgelt Hans Borgelt ... Himself - historian
Brigitte Mira ... Herself
Konrad Kellen Konrad Kellen ... Himself - writer
Lorraine Gordon Lorraine Gordon ... Herself - Lion's first wife
Thea Dispeker 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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

jazz | See All (1) »


Documentary | Music


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 October 1999 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Blue Note See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

DEM 59,112 (Germany), 19 April 1998, Limited Release
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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User Reviews

Spend your money on BlueNote CDs
5 May 2004 | by jemerySee all my reviews

A bizarrely and sadly incoherent collection of fascinating clips and interviews, with few whole performances (Cassandra Wilson's appearance an exception for some reason.) The music is wonderful, if frustratingly edited, and the visuals are all over the place with historical and recreated film footage. Why do film makers (and public radio poobahs) prefer talking about music to playing it? If you're fascinated with this great period of American artistic creation (and you should be) do watch it in spite of itself. If you're hoping to learn about it, spend your money on CDs. Better yet, haunt the used record stores and find those original LPs with brilliant cover art and the best liner notes ever.

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