Ten More Jazzworld Movies To Stream While You’re Stuck At Home

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Well, readers: We’re still stuck at home, figuring out ways to stay sane and remain connected to the outside world. But when the day’s over, here are 10 more jazzworld movies to take in, each suggested to DownBeat through social media. Our initial post recommending movies to binge during the pandemic is here. Please keep the suggestions coming—we’re all gonna need ’em to get through these challenging times. DB

A Great Day in Harlem (Amazon)

Art Kane’s photo is one of the best known images of jazzworld players. But Jean Bach’s documentary, detailing how it all come together, is just as fascinating.

The Ballad of Fred Hersch (Vimeo)

The film follows the pianist’s life as it moves through health issues and bandmates.

Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes (Amazon)

Blue Note Records arguably is one of the most iconic record labels in music history. And now, the label is the focus of Blue Note Records: Beyond The Notes, a documentary directed by Sophie Huber, which premiered in New York at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2018.

I Called Him Morgan (Netflix)

It’s likely that you know how this ends (not well). But this film charting the brief life and career of trumpeter Lee Morgan is still a fascinating examination of what went wrong, and it’s done through the use of surprising narration.

Jackie McLean on Mars (YouTube)

Ken Levis’ 1979 film finds Jackie McLean talking about education and gigging, what he saw on the scene and the society that surrounded it.

Miles Ahead (Amazon)

Don Cheadle is a national treasure—and a pretty big Miles Davis fan (he talks to Marc Maron about music on a recent episode of WTF). Cheadle wrote, directed and starred in this 2015 biopic.

Mingus: Charlie Mingus 1968 (Vimeo)

One of the genre’s most important composers has a camera trained on him during the eviction process.

Ornette: Made in America (Amazon)

Independent filmmaker Shirley Clarke used a nonlinear approach to get at the musical world of Ornette Coleman.

Charlie Haden: Rambling Boy (Vimeo)

Family and colleagues from the roots and jazz worlds figure into this 2009 documentary around the vaunted bassist.

Space Is the Place (YouTube)

This definitely isn’t a concert film. Instead, Space Is the Place is a sci-fi trip through the East Bay during the 1970s with Sun Ra in the lead.

Thelonious Monk: American Composer (YouTube)

A combination of archival footage and lions of the genre discussing Monk, this film is basically a love letter to a unique bandleader, pianist and composer.



  • redman4_creditMichaelWilson2WEB.jpg

    Bassist Christian McBride (left), saxophonist Joshua Redman, drummer Brian Blade and pianist Brad Mehldau reconvened in the studio after more than two decades for RoundAgain.

  • web_Mark_Colby_obituary.png

    Mark Colby (1949–2020)

  • KurtRosenwinkel_credit_RenatoNunes.jpg

    Kurt Rosenwinkel released Angels Around on his own label, Heartcore Records.

  • newport-kamasiatnewport_credit_corwinwickersham.jpg

    Saxophonist Kamasi Washington performs during the 2019 Newport Jazz Festival in Newport, Rhode Island.

  • joeyd_MichaelWoodall.jpg

    Joey DeFrancesco, widely celebrated as an organist, also sings and plays trumpet and tenor saxophone.


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