Movies and Music – Blue Note Records, Leonard Cohen, Melody Maker Magazine
Music documentaries always provide a great insight into some of our favourite artists, not only behind the scenes of the music industry, but often into the private lives of the musicians themselves. Here are three new flicks that go back several decades, preserving history that some may have forgotten, and others may never have even heard about.
Check websites for local area screening, and VOD information. Kick back, relax, and brush up on your musical trivia!
Blue Note Records: Beyond The Notes
Through rare archival footage, current recording sessions and conversations with Blue Note artists, the film uncovers a history of jazz that remains fiercely political and relevant today and illuminates the connections between jazz and hip hop. With Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Norah Jones, Robert Glasper, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Terrace Martin, and Don Was.
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 NOTERECORDS: BEYOND THE NOTES reveals a powerful mission and illuminates the vital connections between jazz and hip hop.
Mariane & Leonard: Words of Love
Marianne & Leonard:Words of Love is about thebeautiful, enduringlove story between legendary folk singer Leonard Cohen and his Norwegian muse Marianne Ihlen. Marianne & Leonard: Words of Loveis renowned filmmaker Nick Broomfield’s most personal and romantic film of his storied career. The story beginson the Greek island of Hydra in 1960, where Leonard, then a struggling and unknown fiction writer, and Marianne, a single mother with a young son, became part of a community of expat artists, writers and musicians.
Never-before-seen footage shot by Broomfield and legendary documentarian D.A. Pennebaker make for a unique portrait of an idyllic 1960’s bohemia.It was a time that left a lasting imprint on both Marianne and Leonard, whose friendship would last another fifty years before their deaths in 2016.It was on Hydra in 1968 that director Nick Broomfield, then aged 20, first himself met Marianne. She introduced him to Leonard Cohen’s music and encouraged Nick to make his first film.As she was with so many artists, Marianne was an enormous influence on Broomfield, who went on to direct award-winning documentaries, many about iconic music legends including Whitney Houston, Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls, Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love..
Canadian produced documentary recalls the music magazine’s history. The film captures the birth of music journalism during the zeitgeist of rock n’ roll through the lens of photographer, Barrie Wentzell, Chief Contributing Photographer, Melody Maker magazine (1965-1975). Melody Makers features candid interviews with Melody Maker journalists Chris Charlesworth, Chris Welch, Richard Williams and Allan Jones who infuse the film with humour, and offer new insight about the cultural significance of the paper at a time when rock n’ roll was in its infancy and Melody Maker magazine was revered as the bible of rock n’ roll during this dynamic, formative and most controversial period in music history.
Mangers, Producers and PR’s (Ian Grant, Glen Colson, Keith Altham and Jeff Dexter) and music legends, Eric Burdon, Ian Anderson, YES, David Cousins, along with other notable artists featured, share behind the scene stories and personal anecdotes about this unique period in music history.
Alongside iconic music photographs, our subjects take us on an extraordinary journey into the spectacular rise and dramatic fall of Melody Maker magazine as we experience the history of rock n’ roll through the rare images from behind the scenes; of young artists at the start of their careers who became legends; of live performances and crazed fans; and of images highlighting the artistic collaboration between the musicians and Melody Maker’s journalists. These pioneers of rock n’ roll blazed the trail establishing the tone, style and standard for music journalism today. This landmark documentary takes a fresh look at the changing landscape of music journalism that lead to the end of Melody Maker magazine , and to a style of music journalism that no longer exists today.
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.