In a recording studio, jazz greats like Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter record an album with younger musicians, including Robert Glasper and Ambrose Akinmusire. They represent the old and young generation of the legendary record label Blue Note, founded in 1939.
The recording of this album forms a leitmotif through the film as it looks back at the history of Blue Note. We see brilliant black-and-white photographs taken during recording sessions by the German Francis Wolff, one of the two founders of the label. There’s archive footage including live performances and interviews with recording engineer Rudy Van Gelder, musicians and fans. We also get to hear from the famous producer Don Was, who once admired Blue Note from afar but is now its president.
Experiment and innovation have been at the forefront from the start at Blue Note, with musicians who were way ahead of their time, such as Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis and John Coltrane. Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes shows how unique and vital this revolutionary music has been, and how it still is today.