Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes

  • Post category:Movies
  • Post last modified:September 7, 2019
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One of two documentaries in 2018 to tell the story of the influential jazz label Blue Note; the other one was the Wim Wenders-produced It Must Schwing: The Blue Note Story. Co-founded in the 1930s by a Jew who had fled the Nazis, Blue Note would become a haven for black musicians, but things really took off with Thelonius Monk and the birth of modern jazz. The film takes us through the rise, decline and rebirth of the label, its interview subjects (including the charismatic Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter as well as many younger talents) enlightening us on the role jazz has played in the empowerment of African Americans and the birth of hiphop. Great music throughout – and a wealth of photos from Blue Note’s history.

2018-Switzerland. 85 min. Color-B/W. Produced by Hercli Bundi, Susanne Guggenberger, Sophie Huber, Chiemi Karasawa. Written and directed by Sophie Huber.

Last word: “It takes a lot of work and a long time to make a documentary – and a great editor. The editing in documentary filmmaking is really the writing process. I sat together with [editor] Russell Greene for a year in a little dark room without any windows and tried to figure out how to piece it all together. It was like a giant puzzle and because we were still shooting during the editing process, everything would also change.” (Huber,



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