BLUE NOTE RECORDS: Beyond the Notes

A film by Sophie Huber
2019, 86 minutes
No. 241

BLUE NOTE RECORDS: Beyond the Notes

One 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.

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.

Official Selection, Tribeca Film Festival
Official Selection, Sheffield Doc Fest
Winner, Best Music Film, Germany Documentary Film Awards

“Critic’s Pick! A smart, exhilarating look at an influential label.” – The New York Times

“Damn-near immaculate music documentary.” – The Guardian

“Jazz may be a quintessentially American art form, but it is Europeans who make some of the best jazz documentaries, with the captivating Blue Note Records: Beyond The Notes being the latest case in point… Potently directed by Switzerland’s Sophie Huber.” – Los Angels Times