It Must Schwing! The Blue Note Story


Modern jazz was born at Blue Note records when greats like Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Bud Powell, John Coltrane and Art Blakey recorded on the label in its breakthrough years. This was not due to the power of a big commercial label to attract the best talent. It was the result of the love for the music of two German Jewish refugees, Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff. "They changed the face of music completely," affirms famed saxophonist Lou Donaldson. Lion and Wolff were friends in 1930s Berlin with a shared passion for jazz. Nazi rule drove them to the United States, where it didn't take them long to see that the discrimination against Blacks in the US was uncomfortably similar to what they had faced as Jews back home. They started the company on a shoestring, never taking a dime from record sales, just reinvesting in the company. Both worked day jobs to make ends meet, but they were living a dream. Over time the immigrant jazz lovers won the respect of musicians not just for their support, but for their musical judgment. This documentary's soundtrack of classic Blue Note bebop and cool jazz and the visuals, enhanced with amazing animation, stunning archival footage and legendary Blue Note cover art, are unforgettable . This new film nicely complements last year's Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes. - Miguel Pendás

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Lies Buchtmann