Cool Cats

In the 1960s, many American jazz greats traveled–and often permanently relocated–to Europe. Seeking to escape from systemic American police violence, racial discrimination, and destructive drug culture, these artists sought out work, artistic appreciation, and human connections. Among these expatriates were tenor saxophonist giants Ben Webster (1909-1973) and Dexter Gordon (1923-1990), who independently settled in Copenhagen and found themselves accepted and celebrated in a surprisingly warm fashion by their newfound countrymen. Drawing on rare interviews and performance footage from Danish television and films, contemporary interviews with friends, girlfriends, and musicians of the era, and an extraordinary treasure trove of Ben Webster’s own, touching 8mm home movies—this intimate portrait of bittersweet exile connects past and present in a moving fashion.

Genres: Biography, Music, Documentary