Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes

A film by Sophie Huber


The film explores the vision behind the iconic American jazz record label. Since 1939, Blue Note artists have been encouraged to push creative boundaries in search of uncompromising expressions. Through current recording sessions, rare archive and conversations with iconic Blue Note artists, the film reveals an intimate perspective of a legacy that continues to be vital in today’s political climate.

Legendary artists Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter come together with today’s generation of groundbreaking Blue Note artists such as Robert Glasper and Ambrose Akinmusire to record an All-Stars album. These reflections lead us back to the highly influential figures of the past on which the legacy of Blue Note is built: Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell, John Coltrane, Art Blakey, Horace Silver and Miles Davis.

The Film strives to transmit the values that jazz embodies and that Blue Note has been promoting since its inception: freedom of expression, equality, dialogue - values we can learn from and that are as relevant today as they were when the label was founded.

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«Blue Note is the past, present and the future. It’s always turning on the next generation to something that could change their life.»
Terrace Martin - producer, musician

Technical Details

Duration85 min
Original LanguageEnglish
SubtitlesGerman, French, Italian
CountrySwitzerland, USA

More Infos

  • Awards

    IFF Zurich, sponsored by IWC Schaffhausen

    Production Award

  • Festivals

    Tribeca Film Festival

    April 23, 2018 - April 28, 2018

    Sheffield Doc/Fest

    June 09, 2018 -

    Shanghai IFF

    June 16, 2018 - June 25, 2018

    FID Marseille

    July 10, 2018 - July 16, 2018

    Jewish Film Festival San Francisco

    July 21, 2018 - June 23, 2018

    DokStation - Music Documentary Film Festival Bukarest

    September 13, 2018 - September 16, 2018

    Filmfest Hamburg

    September 27, 2018 - October 06, 2018

    Vancouver International Film Festival

    September 27, 2018 - October 12, 2018

    Reims Sunnyside Festival

    October 10, 2018 - October 20, 2018

    Dallas DocuFest

    October 10, 2018 - October 14, 2018


    October 18, 2018 - October 28, 2018

    Jewish International Film Festival Australia

    October 23, 2018 - November 21, 2018

    IN-EDIT Barcelona

    October 25, 2018 - October 04, 2018

    Doc'N Roll Film Festival London

    November 01, 2018 - November 18, 2018

    Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival

    November 01, 2018 - November 11, 2018


    November 01, 2018 - November 13, 2018

    Festival Dei Popoli

    November 03, 2018 - November 10, 2018

    Braunschweig International Film Festival

    November 05, 2018 - November 11, 2018

    Cork Film Festival

    November 09, 2018 - November 18, 2018

    IDFA - Best of Fest

    November 14, 2018 - November 25, 2018

    Rokumentti Rock Film Festival

    November 14, 2018 - November 18, 2018

    Sound Unseen

    November 14, 2018 - November 18, 2018

    Am I Jazz?

    November 16, 2018 - November 18, 2018

    Beirut Art Film Festival - BAFF

    November 20, 2018 - November 30, 2018

    Palm Springs International Film Festival 2019

    January 03, 2019 - January 14, 2019

    Miami Jewish Film Festival

    January 10, 2019 - January 24, 2019

    Washington Jewish Film Festival

    February 06, 2019 - February 06, 2019

    Pan African Film Festival

    February 07, 2019 - February 18, 2019

  • Credits

    With (In Alphabetical Order)      

    Ambrose Akinmusire

    Michael Cuscuna

    Lou Donaldson

    Robert Glasper

    Herbie Hancock

    Derrick Hodge

    Norah Jones

    Keith Lewis

    Lionel Loueke

    Terrace Martin

    Ali Shaheed Muhammad

    Kendrick Scott

    Wayne Shorter

    Marcus Strickland

    Rudy Van Gelder

    Don Was


    Sophie Huber

    Director Of Photography              

    Shane Sigler

    Patrick Lindenmaier


    Russell Greene


    Hercli Bundi

    Chiemi Karasawa

    Susanne Guggenberger

    Sophie Huber

    Executive Producers                                  

    Geoffrey Kempin

    Terry Shand

    Anke Beining-Wellhausen

    Associate Producer                        

    Vadim Jendreyko


    Mira Film

    In Association with

    Eagle Rock Entertainment

    Isotope Films

    Final Cut USA

    BBC Music

    In Coproduction with

    Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen

    Radio Télévision Suisse, SRG SSR


    With Financial Support From    

    Zürcher Filmstiftung

    Media Desk Suisse

    UBS Culture Foundation

    Verein zur Filmförderung in der Schweiz – IWC Filmmaker Award

    Stiftung Kulturfonds Suissimage

    Succès Passage Antenne

    Ernst Göhner Stiftung and Stage Pool Focal

    Additional Editor                          

    Chris Amos

    Additional Editor/TV Version      

    Simon Gutknecht

    Production Sound                        

    Eric Bautista

    Matt Betlej

    Julian Howarth

    Jae Kim

    Caleb Mose

    Matthew Patterson-Curry

    Ted Robinson

    Additional Photography              

    Larkin Donley

    Luke Geissbuhler

    Wyatt Troll

    B-Camera Operator                        

    Jake Magee


    Colby Dunford

    Guillaume Caron

    Camera Assistants                          

    Jesse Cain

    Ryan Gudzial

    Kevin Jacobsen

    David Okolo

    Fabian Perez

    Conrad Radzik

    Megeara Stephens

    DIT /Media Manager                    

    Myles David Jewell

    Colin Marchon

    Jesse Tyler

    Assistant Editors                          

    Alex Bayer

    Lisa Gertsch

    Jenna Hill

    Noemi Schneider

    Elijah Stevens

    Archival Producer                        

    Laura Coxson

    Archivist For Francis Wolff Photo Collection                            

    Lisa Cuscuna

    Digital Intermediate                                

    Andromeda Film AG, Zürich


    Patrick Lindenmaier

    Conform Editor                              

    Pedro Nuñez

    Motion Graphics                            

    Davide Legittimo

    Postproduction Coordinator Andromeda                                

    Thomas Krempke

    Post Production Services              

    Final Cut USA, Inc.


    Sophia Murer/Peakfein

    Teddy Blanks/Chips


    Diagonal Gmbh

    Sound Studios

    Igloo Music

    Deluxe Studios

    Sound Design Studios AG

    Sound Design                                            

    Peter von Siebenthal

    Re-Recording Mixer                      

    Nicholai Baxter CAS

    Carlos Solis CAS

    Additional Re-Recording Mixers  

    Felix Bussmann

    Denis Séchaud

    Post-Production Supervisor          

    Kathrin Schmid

    Office Management Mira Film    

    Nadine F. Forster

    Production Coordinator/Isotope Films              

    Sheila Lobo

    Production Insurance                    

    Reiff & Associates

    Legal Services                                

    Stacey Smith/Cinepointe

    Kai-Peter Uhlig/Werder-Viganõ

    Clearance Counsel                        

    Chris Perez/Donaldson + Callif LLP

    Production Accountant                  

    Ryan Pattie

    Tatiana Secura

    Helena Gräumann

    For Eagle Rock Entertainment      

    Legal & Clearances

    Rochelle Winn

    Charlotte Godfrey

    Gabi Huckins

    Production Manager                                  

    Rosie Holley

    Supervising Producers                  

    Peter Worsley

    Will White


    Samantha Baugh

    Aaron Champagne

    Katelyn Fournier

    Mona Johnson

    Bill Karim

    Daniela Lott

    Richard Macris

    Isidora Manojlovic

    Sidhant Tilokani