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Blue Note Records: Beyond The Notes – Movie

Rych McCain International/Nationally Syndicated Entertainment Columnist

Intimate Chat With Sophie Huber, Director of The Documentary Film “Blue Note

     One of the more significant films of this
year’s Pan African Film Festival was titled “Blue Note Records Beyond The
It explores the unique
vision behind the iconic jazz record label. Through rare archival footage,
current recording sessions and conversations with Blue Note artists, the film
reveals a powerful mission and illuminates the vital connections between jazz
hip hop.

Theolonious Monk

John Coltrane


Jimmy Smith

of the most important record labels in the history of jazz — and, by extension,
that of American music — Blue Note Records has been home to such groundbreaking
artists as Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Bud Powell and Art
Blakey, as well as present-day luminaries like Robert Glasper, Ambrose
Akinmusire and Norah Jones. Founded in New York in 1939 by German Jewish
refugees Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff, the history of Blue Note Records goes
beyond the landmark recordings, encompassing the pursuit of musical freedom,
the conflict between art and commerce and the idea of music as a transformative
and revolutionary force.

Herbie Hancock
Wayne Shorter

Freddie Hubard

      Through rare archival footage, current recording
sessions and conversations with jazz icons Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and
today’s groundbreaking Blue Note musicians, BLUE NOTE RECORDS: BEYOND THE NOTES
reveals a powerful mission and illuminates the vital connections between jazz
and hip hop

L-R Blue Note artist Derrick Hodger, film director Sophie Huber and artist Keith Qmillion Lewis

film’s producer/Director is Sophie Huber. In making a documentary about a
subject as large and challenging as one about a record company that practically
wrote the jazz history of the United States, it is a daunting task to say the
least. One of the main complaints that die hard jazz fans will have is that
some of Blue Note’s biggest stars had to be left out. For this interviewer it
was the originator of the modern Hammond B3 jazz organ style Jimmy Smith. With
limited time and a subject that has hundreds of elements to it, you can’t get
everybody in. When asked about that Huber agrees saying, “Especially if you have a story that
covers 80 years and over a thousand records. So you have to stay with the
absolute classics and some you have to miss out on. What I wanted to do with
the film is put it in a manageable lengths so people who do not know anything
about jazz get an idea of what it was and what it still is.”

with most people who criticize; they aren’t doing squat to pick up a camera to
make a documentary themselves. Huber adds, “Especially if you do something that
people know of like Blue Note. You always get criticism of why you didn’t do
this or that. That’s the way it is. You can’t change that.” Huber obviously is
a huge jazz fan. She says, “I grew up with jazz. I’m from Switzerland where
they have amazing jazz festivals. My dad had the records at home so I had at
least a rough idea of what it was.”

Clifford Brown
Art Blakley


Horace Silver

did put together an informative film that not only chronicled the story of the
history of the iconic jazz label Blue Note Records, her founders and the
musicians who paved the path of jazz in an entertaining manner that makes the
film both enjoyable and a joy to watch.


2019 Rych McCain Media/Syndication TM 

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