Academic journal article Notes

Blue Note: A Story of Modern Jazz

Academic journal article Notes

Blue Note: A Story of Modern Jazz

Article excerpt

Blue Note: A Story of Modern Jazz. DVD (Blu-ray). Directed by Julian Benedikt. [Berlin]: EuroArts, 1997, 2015. 2005674. $29.99.

Blue Note: A Story of Modem Jazz tells the story of Alfred Lion, Francis Wolff, and the record label they founded. In a genre such as jazz, where the recorded performance takes precedence over the printed page as a "work," Blue Note had a far-reaching impact on "sound, style, and technical standards," particularly in the "hard bop" genre. It is fortunate that the film was made while so many of the musicians it featured were still alive; many have died since its release in 1997 (Bob Belden, Freddie Hubbard, J.J. Johnson, and others).

Originally a made-for-television movie, Blue Note is highly accessible to a general audience, and notably gives extensive space for interludes of music, accompanied by film excerpts and Wolff's photos. The soundtrack repertory is well chosen and representative of the label, with classics including "Sidewinder," (Lee Morgan), "Blue Train" (John Coltrane), and "Un Poco Loco" (Bud Powell). The film does not neglect W'olff and his photography, but it is decidedly more focused on Alfred Lion, and on Blue Note's musicians. …

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