Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool
Stanley Nelson, USA 2019
Miles Davis was truly larger than life. Not only was he one of the most important and influential jazz musicians of the twentieth century, but his lyrical style and exquisitely timed innovations were also extremely successful. This was reflected in his appearance, in his fondness for sporting fine suits and expensive sports cars. He was a true style icon with a magnetic personality, one both men and women couldn’t resist. Yet he was also a black man in an era that the United States was still openly extremely racist, and he managed to become addicted to nearly everything possible, while also abusing his lovers. His life was every bit as dramatic and eventful as his music was varied and wonderful. Miles Davis lived his life in the same manner he explored his creativity: he ventured into every distant corner, experimenting and trading in musical partners just as quickly as the women in his life. That fact that these women – each and every one of them a marvellous personality in her own right – nevertheless were fully prepared to contribute to this documentary is one of the reasons Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool will keep you pinned to your seat. If you love music and its makers, don’t miss it.