Event alert: Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool. Spy Vibers might be interested in seeing the new documentary film, Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool. The movie was produced in-part by American Masters Pictures, so it might also run eventually on PBS (?). I was able to see an early theatrical screening of it recently and really enjoyed it. Miles is one of those few artists in my orbit that I always follow and I find his musical ideas, and his story, endlessly fascinating. Much time has passed since the Miles Davis Story doc was made in 2001, and although some of the key people were still around to contribute to Birth of the Cool, I did find the earlier film went deeper and had many more interviews with folks who were intimately involved with the music and with home life. The new doc did have fantastic footage and an interview with Miles' girlfriend, Juliette Gréco, as well as input from some of his childhood pals. Birth of the Cool suffered a bit from fast editing, particularly in chapter-break montages of still images (some of which even repeated), and I found myself actually get dizzy at one point (not a Be-bop reference). I was relieved to see these moments grow less frequent as the movie progressed, however, so stick with it if you have a similar reaction. I did enjoy Birth of the Cool overall and it's definitely worth seeing for some rare footage and new interviews. The limited run is scheduled through the first week of October, I think, so don't delay! Spy Vibers in TX even have a chance to see a screening today (!) with the director and members of Miles' family. More info at the film's website. Screening schedule link here. From the press release: "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's 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. Featuring never-before-seen archival footage, studio outtakes, and rare photos, Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool tells the story of a truly singular talent and unpacks the man behind the horn." Enjoy! Some related posts: Miles Davis Scores, Miles Day.
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