Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool

“In Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool, Sundance vet Stanley Nelson offers a documentary broader in chronological scope than his most visible films, celebrating a musician whose career was not just long but constantly transformational.

“We hear about the transformative effect of the trumpeter's time in Paris, where, though he wasn't yet a star, he was embraced by the intelligentsia and started a love affair with actress/singer Juliette Greco. The latter appears here, recalling how Davis met Picasso, Sartre and others.

“While writers like Farah Griffin, Gerald Early and Stanley Crouch examine the man's life and music, valuable first-person observation comes from fellow musicians like Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock and James Mtume. The latter is helpful as the film follows Davis' shift from the mode he described as "ultra-clean," "sharp as a tack" to the more trendy style and sprawl-y fusion sounds he would bring to giant rock-oriented venues from the 1970s on.

“The film contains more rare footage and photos than can really be digested in two hours, and much is left off the table; most fans will wish this very enjoyable portrait lasted 10 or 12 hours, at a minimum.” - The Hollywood Reporter


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