Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes

A film by Sophie Huber


BLUE NOTE RECORDS: BEYOND THE NOTES explores the unique vision behind the iconic jazz record label. Through rare archival footage, current recording sessions and conversations with Blue Note artists, the film reveals a powerful mission and illuminates the vital connections between jazz and hip hop.

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.

«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

More Infos

  • 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

  • Technical Details
    Duration85 min
    Original LanguageEnglish
    SubtitlesGerman, French, Italian
    CountrySwitzerland, USA
  • Festivals

    Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival

    May 02, 2019 - May 09, 2019

    Rock This Town Festival, Pau, France

    April 30, 2019 - April 30, 2019

    Richmond International Film and Music Festival

    April 23, 2019 - April 28, 2019

    EPOS Art Film Festival, Tel-Aviv

    March 29, 2019 - March 29, 2019

    Sonoma International Film Festival

    March 27, 2019 - March 31, 2019

    Seattle Jewish Film Festival

    March 24, 2019 - March 24, 2019

    CPH:DOX Music Program

    March 20, 2019 - March 31, 2019

    Boca Raton Jewish Film Festival

    March 17, 2019 - March 26, 2019

    Pan African Film Festival

    February 07, 2019 - February 18, 2019

    Washington Jewish Film Festival

    February 06, 2019 - February 06, 2019

    Solothurner Filmtage

    January 24, 2019 - January 31, 2019

    Miami Jewish Film Festival

    January 10, 2019 - January 24, 2019

    Palm Springs International Film Festival 2019

    January 03, 2019 - January 14, 2019

    Beirut Art Film Festival - BAFF

    November 20, 2018 - November 30, 2018

    Am I Jazz?

    November 16, 2018 - November 18, 2018

    Sound Unseen

    November 14, 2018 - November 18, 2018

    Rokumentti Rock Film Festival

    November 14, 2018 - November 18, 2018

    IDFA - Best of Fest

    November 14, 2018 - November 25, 2018

    Cork Film Festival

    November 09, 2018 - November 18, 2018

    Braunschweig International Film Festival

    November 05, 2018 - November 11, 2018

    Festival Dei Popoli

    November 03, 2018 - November 10, 2018


    November 01, 2018 - November 13, 2018

    Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival

    November 01, 2018 - November 11, 2018

    Doc'N Roll Film Festival London

    November 01, 2018 - November 18, 2018

    IN-EDIT Barcelona

    October 25, 2018 - October 04, 2018

    Jewish International Film Festival Australia

    October 23, 2018 - November 21, 2018


    October 18, 2018 - October 28, 2018

    Dallas DocuFest

    October 10, 2018 - October 14, 2018

    Reims Sunnyside Festival

    October 10, 2018 - October 20, 2018

    Vancouver International Film Festival

    September 27, 2018 - October 12, 2018

    Filmfest Hamburg

    September 27, 2018 - October 06, 2018

    DokStation - Music Documentary Film Festival Bukarest

    September 13, 2018 - September 16, 2018

    Lemesos International Docmentary Festival

    August 01, 2018 - August 08, 2018

    Film and Art Two Riversides, Poland

    July 28, 2018 - August 05, 2018

    Jewish Film Festival San Francisco

    July 21, 2018 - June 23, 2018

    FID Marseille

    July 10, 2018 - July 16, 2018

    Shanghai IFF

    June 16, 2018 - June 25, 2018

    Sheffield Doc/Fest

    June 09, 2018 -

    Tribeca Film Festival

    April 23, 2018 - April 28, 2018

  • Awards

    Deutscher Dokumentarfilmpreis

    Musikpreis der Opus GmbH

    IFF Zurich, sponsored by IWC Schaffhausen

    Production Award

    Pan African-American Film Festival for the Arts

    Programmers' Award Documentary

    Richmond International Film Festival

    2019 Tribute Award: Outstanding Achievement in Film