Jammin' the Blues is a 1944 American short film in which several prominent jazz musicians got together for a rare filmed jam session. It features Lester Young, Red Callender, Harry Edison, Marlowe Morris, Sid Catlett, Barney Kessel, Jo Jones, John Simmons, Illinois Jacquet, Marie Bryant, Archie Savage and Garland Finney. Barney Kessel is the only white musician in the film. He was seated in the shadows to shade his skin.
The movie was directed by still photographer Gjon Mili, edited by Everett Dodd, with lighting and photography directed by Robert Burks (his first credit in this field), and released by Warner Bros. Producer Gordon Hollingshead was nominated for an Academy Award in the category of Best Short Subject, One-reel.
Working with Harold Eugene Edgerton of MIT, Mili was a pioneer in the use of stroboscopic instruments to capture a sequence of actions in one photograph. Mili did not serve as cinematographer for this film, but Blues uses multiplied images that in many ways recall the multi-image still-frames done with the strobe.
In 1995, Jammin' the Blues was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
Jammin' the Blues appears on the DVDs Jammin' With the Greats (2005) Passage to Marseille (2006), Norman Granz: Improvisation (2007).
Lester Young - Tenor saxophone
Red Callender - Bass
Harry "Sweets" Edison - Trumpet
Marlowe Morris - Piano
"Big" Sid Catlett - Drums (First two songs, and intro of third)
Jo Jones - Drums (for final song)
Barney Kessel - Guitar
John Simmons - Double bass
Illinois Jacquet - Tenor saxophone
Marie Bryant - Vocals and Female Dancer
Archie Savage - Male Dancer
"On the Sunny Side of the Street" - Sung by Marie Bryant
"Jammin' the Blues"