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This documentary illuminates little-known aspects of the history of bebop jazz, including anecdotes about the formation of the "house band" at Minton's, the Harlem birthplace of bebop. This documentary focuses on multitalented musician and composer Joel Forrester in an exploration of his diverse musical talents and influences. Forrester recounts previously unknown aspects of the life of Thelonious Monk and the Jazz Baroness, Pannonica Rothschild. The film also explores bebop's origins in the Harlem jazz club Minton's, Forrester's work as a composer of African American church music, as an improv accompanist for silent movies and as a teacher of jazz musical forms. Forrester's story plays out like a jazz tune: a strong theme runs through a series of improvisational changes, solo riffs, and ensemble resolutions to weave the fabric of a bebop life.

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