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4.5 out of 5 stars
24
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Showing 1-10 of 13 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 24 reviews
on March 22, 2010
...particularly as this film shows tantalizing clips from the '85 event. Great to finally have this classic on dvd. This 1997 documentary covers all the bases - the background and perspective of Blue Note's founder, Alfred Lion, the recording session atmosphere, the enthusiasm and dedication of the musicians, Francis Wolff's photographs, Reid Miles' covers and Rudy Van Gelder's sound. If you own or have seen the Burns series, this film fills in some of the gaps and corrects some of the misconceptions perpetrated by that series' final few episodes, and it does so without all the cloying narration. Director Julian Benedikt does a masterful job of editing and sequencing the various segments to provide an 'improvisational' balance between interviews and performance footage and between coverage of the label's heyday and its contemporary influence. The performance footage for the most part is electrifying, including period clips of Art Blakey, Horace Silver and Thelonious Monk, the aforementioned Town Hall concert of '85 (showcasing Freddie Hubbard's virtuosity), and contemporary performers like Junko Onishi. The best of these is a b&w clip of a Sonny Rollins intro that is just mesmerizing! (The worst, and only hiccup, is a clip of Cassandra Wilson performing a dull "smooth jazz" arrangement.) The interviews are in a variety of settings and include Blue Note legends Herbie Hancock, Horace Silver and Gil Melle, studio session players Bob Cranshaw and Tommy Turrentine, and recording executive Michael Cuscuna. Alfred Lion's first wife Lorraine Gordon gets interviewed as she takes reservations at the Village Vanguard. Several of Lion & Wolff's European colleagues and contemporaries offer the overseas perspective on the reception of jazz as high art. The soundtrack mix is well-crafted and indicative of the range of the label's music with selections from artists well known to Blue Note fans like Joe Henderson, Grant Green, Kenny Burrell, Lee Morgan, Jimmy Smith and Grachan Moncur. The film concludes on a poignant note with the now-deceased Andrew Hill signing out a sound studio to practice his art. This film ranks alongside the Monk documentary "Straight, No Chaser".
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on February 16, 2016
Well documented video of the history of Blue Note records. Fantastic.
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on October 7, 2015
If you are a modern jazz fan, this movie is a must see. Its a good documentary about the history of the Blue Note record label. It was very complete and entertaining.
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on December 31, 2013
Blue Note, along with Atlantic, during this period put out some of the best jazz by both veteran players and up and comers. Many of the Blue Note acts would go on to make their imprint into the world of jazz. What is most important about this label was the fact that the company was started by two guys from Europe (Their origins escape me at this time) and if you know anything about jazz you will understand that Europe embraced the music way more then it was embraced here in America. The video talks about the origins of the owners of the label and runs through some of the greatest jazz musicians that we have ever heard. Jazz enthusiast will be happy with this video.
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on October 3, 2015
great story
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on March 16, 2013
Interesting but there is no clear timeline and one wonders why on earth people talking on screen are not identified on their first appearance but much later on,
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on May 23, 2013
For everyone who love Jazz, being musician or not ; Good pictures, great musicians playing together,
remarcable, Thanks Blue Note. JCP
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on December 19, 2013
If you're not one of those human beings who get mysteriously religious when discussing Blue Note Records this Doc won't impress you. Fortunately for me I am one of those human beings and this Doc impressed me a lot. What you get here is vantage point of view into the Blue Note mystique by some of the folks who helped make it happen. Entertaining and informative.
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on April 28, 2014
The Blue Story is one for the ages. It confirmed in living color what a treasure America's original, and sole art form is.
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on January 12, 2015
A must see for Jazz fans.
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