Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool trailer: Inside the mind, sound and mystique of a jazz legend

Stanley Nelson’s new documentary arrives to play the London Film Festival in October

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Looking back at the legendary career of one of the 20th century’s most iconic musicians, Miles Davies: Birth of the Cool starts from the early Bebop years through to the revelatory directions his music took in the 60s and beyond. Actor Carl Lumbly narrates segments taken from Davis’ 1989 biography in a similar raspy tone the trumpet player would speak in. Aside from examining Davis’ constant drive to evolve and challenge his musical boundaries, director Stanley Nelson’s documentary also looks at his heroin addiction (not uncommon amongst many jazz musicians of the time) and erratic relationships with women. Miles Davies: Birth of the Cool will play at the London Film Festival and you can watch the trailer above.

Miles Davis: Horn player, bandleader, innovator. Elegant, intellectual, vain. Callous, conflicted, controversial. Magnificent, mercurial. Genius. The very embodiment of cool. The man with a sound so beautiful it could break your heart. The central theme of Miles Davis’s life was his restless determination to break boundaries and live life on his own terms. It made him a star—it also made him incredibly difficult to live with, for the people who loved him most. Again and again, in music and in life, Miles broke with convention—and when he thought his work came to represent a new convention, he changed it again. Miles’ bold disregard for tradition, his clarity of vision, his relentless drive, and constant thirst for new experiences made him an inspiring collaborator to fellow musicians and a cultural icon to generations of listeners. It made him an innovator in music—from bebop to “cool jazz,” modern quintets, orchestral music, jazz fusion, rock ‘n’ roll, and even hip-hop.

Stanley Nelson directs, with some of Davis’ famous musician friends heard throughout, including the likes of Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Jimmy Cobb, Quincy Jones and Carlos Santana.

You can buy tickets for Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool on the London Film Festival from September 12.

Steven Sheehan

Updated: Sep 06, 2019


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Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool trailer: Inside the mind, sound and mystique of a jazz legend | The Digital Fix