Shallow splash image
» About » News

Edinburgh International Film Festival's top Jazz & Blues films

Edinburgh International Film Festival's top Jazz & Blues films image

With Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival’s Blues Weekend Online taking place this week, Senior Programmer Niall Greig Fulton rounds up a selection of jazz and blues related films and videos currently available to watch at home.

German television music showcase Beat Club (1965-1972) featured a dazzling array of influential artists over the years. Here’s songs from Canned Heat, Muddy Waters and B.B. King via the official Beat Club YouTube channel:

Canned Heat – On the Road Again (1968)

https://youtu.be/QexOuH8GS-Y

B.B. King – Heartbreaker (1968)

https://youtu.be/2KcpevuZQ0Y

Muddy Waters – Honey Bee (1970)

https://youtu.be/XhAcIuj3o1E

 

Waters also appeared on another famous German music show in the 1970s. Watch highlights of Muddy Waters - Live at Rockpalast (1978) here:

https://youtu.be/v_7wfo3sBgs

https://youtu.be/JS98W1sfF6A

The full concert is available from Amazon Prime here.

https://www.amazon.com/Muddy-Waters-Blues-Band-Westfalenhalle/dp/B07BB6LQKD

 

See Waters jam with The Rolling Stones, and Miles Davis electrify both his band and his biggest audience ever in two classic performances made available by Eagle Rock on their official YouTube channel:

 

Muddy Waters & The Rolling Stones - Live at The Checkerboard Lounge (1981)

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLLuZxoOj2SDPU7xzsRl6dEz_7mFtljMtN


Miles Davis - Live at the Isle of Wight (1970)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMYVvjoXf4o

 

To see Davis in action just prior to his electric era, watch highlights of Miles Davis - Live in Copenhagen (1969) on the official Miles Davis YouTube channel here:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1RJCGLa8Ni1-67ptN_E8-uSKnf-Vt0Kn

Get the full, uninterrupted concert via Amazon Prime here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk › Miles-...Watch Miles Davis: Copenhagen Live 1969 | Prime Video - Amazon UK

 

To learn more about “The Man with the Horn”, Stanley Nelson’s recent portrait of Davis, Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool (2019) is still available on BBC iPlayer.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000ggdf

 

The iPlayer also features a superb selection of vintage blues content:

Chicago Blues (1970)

Harley Cokeliss documentary featuring Muddy Waters, Junior Wells and Buddy Guy.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01m5xq2


Big Bill Blues (1956)

Jean Delire’s film noir styled short finds Big Bill Broonzy playing four songs live in a Brussels night club.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01m73lp


Blind John Davies (1985)

Journalist Studs Terkel and pianist Blind John Davis meet to talk and play the blues.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01m71pq


B.B. King Speaks (1985)

Broadcaster John Walters talks to B.B. King.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01m5wh5


Sounding Out: B.B. King (1972)

B.B. King filmed in England during the recording of his album The London Sessions.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01m5j5g


Sonny Boy Williamson Sings (1985)

Rare footage of harmonica blues player Sonny Boy Williamson.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01m5v9n

 

With a reputation as the biggest indoor jazz festival in the world, The Northsea Jazz Festival is an annual event that has been held in the Netherlands since 1976. The fourth edition in 1979 featured a breath-taking line up of blues and jazz legends. Several of the concerts from the event are available in their entirety on YouTube:

 

Count Basie

https://youtu.be/fvHYtouG3hE

https://youtu.be/FIfSTqZ7nyI

Muddy Waters

https://youtu.be/3X4t7B-HaBo

Sun Ra Arkestra

https://youtu.be/3ZwW3tw86SY

B.B. King

https://youtu.be/mfnLQ_YYaN8

Ella Fitzgerald

https://youtu.be/qqz9FyIFjxU

Oscar Peterson & Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen

https://youtu.be/tw_S8lqu0wk


Staying on the festival circuit, the world-famous Montreux Jazz Festival recently opened-up their vast archive and released 50 concert films to stream for free. Amongst the many gems on offer, there’s incredible performances from Nina Simone, Ray Charles, Etta James, Quincy Jones and Isaac Hayes. Click here to access this unmissable opportunity.

https://www.montreuxjazzfestival.com/en/50-concerts-to-stream/

 

Throughout the 1980s director Robert Mugge delivered several extraordinary documentaries focusing on great jazz and blues musicians. Three of the best, exploring the worlds of Sun Ra, Gil Scott Heron and Sonny Rollins, are currently available free with Amazon Prime: 


Sun Ra: A Joyful Noise (1980)

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sun-Ra-Joyful-ROBERT-MUGGE/dp/B07CGD4FTL


Gil Scott Heron: Black Wax (1982)

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gil-Scott-Heron-Black-ROBERT-MUGGE/dp/B079XX36M5


Sonny Rollins: Saxophone Colossus (1986)

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sonny-Rollins-Saxophone-ROBERT-MUGGE/dp/B07BDNVP5H

 

Also available free with Amazon Prime, director Les Blank’s The Blues According to Lightning Hopkins (1970) is a memorable and insightful portrait of the legendary Texas blues man.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07B12LMWP

 

Netflix has a fine selection of jazz and blues related documentaries currently on offer too, exploring the lives of such greats as Lee Morgan, Nina Simone, Quincy Jones, John Coltrane and timeless blues enigma Robert Johnson.

I Called Him Morgan (2016)

https://www.netflix.com › titleI Called Him Morgan | Netflix

What Happened Miss Simone (2015)

https://www.netflix.com › titleWhat Happened, Miss Simone? | Netflix Official Site

Quincy (2018)

https://www.netflix.com › titleWeb resultsQuincy | Netflix Official Site

Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary (2016)

https://www.netflix.com › titleWeb resultsChasing Trane | Netflix

Devil at the Crossroads (2019)

https://www.netflix.com › titleWeb resultsReMastered: Devil at the Crossroads | Netflix Official Site

 

Last but by no means least, the INA (Institut National de l'Audiovisuel) website and YouTube channels feature countless extraordinary archive musical performances. Here’s a small selection of the many gems available:


Dizzy Gillespie – A Night in Tunisia (1970)

https://youtu.be/9JBibTaKxuE

Thelonious Monk – Jazz Portrait (1970)

https://youtu.be/iRX2sxCDMXk

Ella Fitzgerald – Live at the Cannes Jazz Festival (1958)

https://youtu.be/T1FV5s4JHi8

Manu Dibango – Soul Makossa (1973)

https://youtu.be/ny78BCBir2Q

SérgioMendes & Brasil 66 – Mas Que Nada (1969)

https://youtu.be/LvVghuNGBL4

SérgioMendes & Brasil 66 – Upa Neguinho (1969)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mm5t4p7CpME

John Coltrane – A Love Supreme (1966)

https://youtu.be/lWuhPVb175Y

John Coltrane – Naima (1966)

https://youtu.be/RvYGlNB0viQ

Miles Davis - Au clair de la lune (1956)

https://youtu.be/Cdrjmm46YgY

Herbie Hancock – Toys (1972)

https://m.ina.fr/video/I09229158/herbie-hancock-video.html

Herbie Hancock – Sleeping Giant (1972)

https://www.ina.fr/video/I09229166

Herbie Hancock – Water Torture (1972)

https://m.ina.fr/video/I09229159/herbie-hancock-water-torture-video.html

Charles Mingus & Eric Dolphy – Live at Festival Jazz d'Antibes Juan-les-Pins (1960)

https://m.ina.fr/video/I07194667/charlie-mingus-eric-dolphy-au-festival-d-antibes-video.html

Sun Ra and his Intergalactic Arkestra – Jazz Session (1972)

https://m.ina.fr/video/CPF86658710/sun-ra-and-his-intergalactic-arkestra-video.html

John Lee Hooker – I Feel Good (1979)

https://www.ina.fr/video/I15202216/john-lee-hooker-i-feel-good-video.html

 

 

 

TOP

Be the first to know: get email alerts

To receive regular updates on the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, fill out the form below. We'll never give your details to others, or send you anything but pertinent news.

SUBMIT
Supporter logos

Event added to myfestival list.

myfestival