"Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes" Documentary Set For Blu-ray and DVD Release

How many times has the Blue Note label risen from the ashes over its 80 year history? It's been revived and resurrected more than a few times by various owners (not counting founders Alfred Lion and Max Margulis), the first of which was Liberty Records in 1965, which In turn was bought out in 1969 by United Artists Records. In 1979 EMI bought United Artists and put Blue Note out to pasture. Say what?

In 1985 the label was brought back to life, as part of EMI Manhattan Records under the direction of the late Bruce Lundvall. The label began releasing new music some of which was created by artists who began their recording careers with Blue Note, and Michael Cuscuna began a reissue series for his Mosaic label.

Don Was became Blue Note President in 2012 after Universal acquired EMI and you probably know much of the current history, which includes a great deal of vinyl action including the recent, highly acclaimed and ridiculously popular (ridiculous in the best sense of the word) Tone Poet series overseen by Joe Harley.

Oh! The documentary. I got carried away. It was directed by Swiss filmmaker Sophie Huber and features Herbie, Wayne, Lou, Rudy (do you need their last names?), Was, Cuscuna, Robert Glasper, Norah Jones and many other Blue Note luminaries.

The documentary, which, among other themes, explores the connection between jazz and hip-hop, premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival and has been screened at more than 50 international film festivals since then. It's also playing a limited run though the end of August in Washington D.C. (7th), San Francisco (9-11), Nashville (12), Minneapolis (14), Albuquerque (19-22) and Phoenix (28).

The Blu-ray, DVD and digital release arrives September 6th.

The trailer is below. And below that is a fascinating interview with label Prez Don Was produced by reissue label Vinyl Me, Please, which has its own excellent Blue Note vinyl box set reissue:

Chriswilford1's picture

Note the mixing board behind Don in his office that used to belong to Les Paul.