An uptempo look at the birth of the famed jazz label. San Diego Jewish Film Festival: It Must Schwing: The Blue Note Story
Did you know the influential jazz label was founded by a pair of upbeat German record fanatics, Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff, who fled the Nazis, emigrated to America, and laid the groundwork for what would prove to be an iconic approach to modulating modern jazz? That forms the foundation for this boppin’ doc that features archival footage and/or interviews with just about every musician fortunate enough to lend their names to the label. But as much as the viewer may admire writer/director Eric Friedler’s desire to move beyond the traditional closeup assemblage of heads and lips, perhaps CGI wasn’t the way to go. The backgrounds and overall design work of animators Tetyana Chernyavska and Rainer Ludwigs attract the eyes just long enough for the characters’ open-casket facial expressions and stiff Hall-of-Presidents movement to shatter the illusion. Shameless name-dropping: Wim Wenders receives an Executive Producer credit. — Scott Marks
Reading Town Square, Thursday, February 7 at 7 pm or Wednesday, February 13 at 7 pm.