Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool is a 2019 Stanley Nelson Jr. documentary about the life and career of the jazz legend. Clocking in at about two hours the film features a collection of clips, photos, and interviews with his contemporaries and collaborators. The documentary doesn’t just tick along the timeline of Miles’ life but rather dives into the highs and lows of his personal life as well as how they affected the creative process behind his music.
Before checking out this Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool, I didn’t know much about Miles Davis. I knew that he was a jazz musician who played the trumpet and was married to Cicely Tyson during the 1980s. Now how they got together or why they broke up, I really didn’t know. This tiny bit that I did know came about from some article or clip where he mentioned that when he had a weave (which automatically caught my attention) he got into an argument with Cicely Tyson after chatting up some neighbor. I was so confused by the scene he explained but equally intrigued. Beyond that, I didn’t know much about his music as far as particular songs that he’d created or on which he’d played.
So often with a lot of Black musicians of the past, it seemed like their origin story was that they grew up poor in some rural area maybe even on a farm. There’s nothing wrong with that. But in this case, I was quite surprised to find out that Davis came from a rather comfortable family as his father was a dentist. Davis was born in 1926 so for a Black man to be a dentist at that time is pretty remarkable. And as is pointed out, he grew up in a small town in Southern Illinois across the Mississippi River from Missouri. His dad then moved the family to East St. Louis. I smiled when this was mentioned because I knew that a few decades later Anna Mae Bullock would also move to the area and become Tina Turner so there’s a lot of history in the town.
At the time the Davis family arrived in East St. Louis, it hadn’t yet become a big city. This enabled the family to have a house in the city area but also a farm with cows and other stuff out in the more rural area. I’m not sure of its accuracy but it’s mentioned that the elder Davis was the second wealthiest man in the state of Illinois at that time. From the way it was worded, not the second wealthiest Black man but the second wealthiest man in general. It indicates that the elder Davis was doing quite well for himself, especially for the time. Yet, the Davis family’s wealth could not fully protect them from racism and discrimination as this was still the period of Jim Crow.
It’s always interesting when listening to the stories of people’s lives how a simple event sets them on one path versus another. From a very young age, Davis was regarded as being a genius but also a little bit weird. When Davis was in junior high school his parents decided to get him an instrument for his birthday. His dad got him a new trumpet while his mom wanted him to play the violin.
Davis would go on to make his mark on the world as a legendary trumpet player. I’m sure he would have still been talented and done great things as a violinist but imagine how different his life and music history might have been. He might not have gone into jazz but rather some other musical genre like classical where he would have been playing in an orchestra.
His father and the trumpet won out over his mother and the violin but part of that conversation is also the contentious and violent relationship between his mother and father. Davis grew up in a household where his mother and father constantly argued but it wasn’t just verbal disagreements as they would sometimes turn physical. He mentions at one point that his mother and father got into an argument, in this case, I think it was about which instrument he should play. His mother was picking up objects and throwing them at his father to which his father responded by punching his mother in the mouth which knocked out some of her teeth. It was an incredibly petty argument and an unnecessarily violent exchange.
This was not a positive environment for a child to be growing up in. It’s not a positive example of how to have a healthy, romantic relationship between a man and a woman. These early examples of dysfunctional behavior that Davis grew up seeing in his household had an impact on Davis and played a role in his later relationships with women.
As with most musicians, Davis began playing as the newbie in a band and worked his way up the chain. Because of his dad’s support, Davis was able to continue attending school while playing in the band on the side. Meanwhile, the other band members had day jobs and were playing at night. Davis was able to focus a lot of his attention on music which allowed him to take on more playing and creative responsibilities within the band and he eventually became the bandleader.
After graduating from high school he had the opportunity to sit in on a session with Billy Eckstein’s band. This was significant because there were a lot of other future legends such as Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker playing in the session. These were still early days for the musicians but it offered an opportunity for them to meet and inspire each other and start forming the collaborative relationships that would help to shape jazz. This was also an important session because it motivated Davis to leave his hometown to move to New York. The clubs along 52nd Street were becoming the epicenter of jazz.
Davis makes a pretty astute observation (and I’m paraphrasing here) that change is necessary for people who aspire to be creative. This is because creativity is either reimagining things as they currently are or imagining something that doesn’t yet exist and making it a reality. Think of Jimi Hendrix playing the Star-Spangled Banner on an electric guitar where it sounds completely different. Or jazz musicians improvising and creating completely new songs on the fly.
I’ve noticed something after several years of reading and watching documentaries about different Black American musicians and creative people. In the 1900s, up to and even during the Civil Rights Movement, when they achieved some degree of success or as soon as the opportunity presented itself they would spend time in Europe, Paris in particular. There seemed to be a sense of freedom that they felt there in part because their creativity received more recognition and appreciation from the general public than they were getting in America. Ex: Josephine Baker and later James Baldwin and Nina Simone.
Based on this I used to think that either there wasn’t racism in Europe or maybe not as much in comparison to America. I’ve since learned that’s not the case as it seems that racism was still a thing but might have just presented differently. For these creatives, it might have been more a matter of being celebrities and moving in different circles compared to the average Black person in Europe. Therefore, the experiences that they had were different and positive for many of them. And being a tourist who visits for work or vacation is different from living somewhere.
In this case, Davis met a French lady with whom he fell in love but he’d already had children in America with his high school sweetheart. It seems like in Paris away from the responsibilities and difficulties of his day-to-day life Davis felt a sense of freedom. Coming back to America plunged him into a very deep depression. I initially took it for granted that sometimes you have this feeling when returning from a great vacation. Whatever is the opposite of homesickness, farsickness maybe? Dismay at having to go back home and get back to your regular life after having a period of freedom.
But for Davis, it was a very deep depression that was the catalyst for him becoming addicted to heroin. How it ravaged his life was surprising. Things got to the point where his father came to check on him and when he saw what was going on marched Davis off of the stage and took him back home to East St. Louis. It was an attempt to get him to sober up and kick the habit. But I thought it was rather sweet and an incredible act of love on his father’s part. It’s like you might be a grown man but are still my child and I’ll step in to help you when it’s obvious that you need it.
Unfortunately, he was so far gone that he plunged right back into his drug use in New York. One of the interviewees said that you’d see Davis out and wouldn’t even recognize him as he’d look like some random homeless person on the street because he’d become so consumed with heroin. A bright point is that unlike a lot of other artists, it sounds like at least some of his personal and industry friends tried to help him rather than being enabling yes-men. They made an effort to not give him money in an attempt to prevent him from buying drugs. He was going through a rough period in his life that began with a seemingly inconsequential trigger like returning from a work trip.
This is something with which a lot of people struggle and unfortunately, seems to play a role in the lives of many famous (though not all) creatives. Some people seem to struggle with dealing with life and the world as they are. For some, music, art, writing or some other creative outlet is a way for them to express their feelings and process their emotions. Some reach a point where their art isn’t enough to deal with whatever it is that they have going on internally and they start seeking some other form of external relief. Instead of positive coping mechanisms, some turn to drugs, alcohol, sex, or some other addictive thing which ends up taking their life off course, plunging them just further into the abyss of depression.
At first, when the focus returned to music and the period of bebop, I thought to myself that I don’t like this kind of music. But as Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool moved on there was a conversation about Davis playing at a festival where there were several record executives present. They delved deeper into his music from that period and Davis physically changing the way that he played as far as positioning the trumpet right up against the microphone. There were some clips of music played at that point and I got it, it was now a whole mood.
Recently, I’ve reviewed quite a few Spike Lee films. I know that Lee’s dad is a jazz musician who created the scores for some of his films. Lee’s films, especially the early movies contained quite a bit of jazz. This part of Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool reminded me of those films. They were discussing the vibe of vulnerability within the music and it’s quite beautiful, romantic even. Yet it’s not sappy or overdone as it might have been with some other genres.
I like soul, rockers, R&B, etc. and I started to get into the music at this point because it was so smooth and relaxing. This isn’t music that I could listen to while driving because it might make you too relaxed. But I could see listening to this era of Miles Davis as mood music while reading, soaking in the tub, maybe a nice dinner, or some other quiet moment. This is totally a vibe. I got it at that point what people in the audience might have felt when they heard Miles Davis playing these songs in this way for the first time.
And then adding to the vibe was that within Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool there were black and white photos further enhancing the mood. I love black and white photography so from a visual standpoint this was a high point of the documentary for me. The combination of music and images spoke to me and made me smile.
It just got better from there as they began a discussion of Davis creating the soundtracks for a french film. I love movies too! If you think of old detective films or Humphrey Bogart movies, being black and white somehow adds another layer to the film. You might think that there’s something lost with the lack of color. But black and white photography and films can convey a lot of feeling that you sometimes don’t get with color. Especially if the focus of the lens is just a little soft and adds a lush dreamy feeling.
And then consider film scores. In more recent years they take songs and drop them in at places in the film. It’s typically a full song where a clip is taken and dropped in at a point in the film. Back then they would hire a full band and have them play to fill the space that needed music. The way that Miles Davis did it was to watch the film and play along with the mood of the scene. Like many jazz musicians, he was improvising, composing in his mind rather than writing the music in advance. It’s pretty dope. There’s one clip where a character from the film is walking around Paris. And you see him playing music on the fly while watching the film on the screen.
In many films and now TV shows, the music seems to be an afterthought where they might take a hit song from a hot artist and just plop it into the film. Sometimes the song has nothing to do with what’s taking place in the scene but might just match the energy or tempo. But here you see Davis tailoring the music to the scene which is a very creative approach.
This was some real deal good music and it brought Davis tremendous commercial success along with the financial accessories. I know that chasing your dreams can be hard work so I’m always cheering for other people who achieve success. This goes doubly for Black people because there are often many obstacles in the path to a Black person becoming successful. I felt especially proud to see photos of Davis during these very successful periods after having learned of the hardships with which he’d struggled.
I like seeing old black and white pictures of regular Black people but also musicians. (I actually plan to start a collection of black and white photos of Black actors and musicians.) Black people were and still are going through it so to see photos of Davis and his lady dressed to the nines and stepping out of a Ferrari was incredible.
Yet, there are highs and lows in life and it seems that when you’re riding high in life, the universe or more accurately some hater decides to come along and rain on your parade. While either practicing or appearing at a club, Davis walked a lady outside to catch a cab and remained outside to smoke a cigarette. A police officer came across him and told him to move along to which Davis inquired why he couldn’t remain where he was.
Keep in mind, this is at the height of this big blockbuster album that’s helped to musically define the era and he’s standing near a marquee that bears his name. Davis points this out as an explanation as to why he’s standing around. But upset at having his authority questioned, the officer attacked Davis with what sounds like a billy club. After splitting Davis’ head open and getting blood all over his clothes, Davis was arrested and taken to the police station.
It sounds like Davis was already a temperamental guy and somewhat unsociable. But this incident added to some of the feelings that he’d developed along the way since he began experiencing racism back in East St. Louis. He thought that he’d left that small-minded thinking behind in his hometown and wouldn’t have to worry in a cosmopolitan and progressive city like New York. The experience reminded him that he was at risk of having to deal with racism anywhere in America.
Even minding your own business some police officer could walk up to you and demand that you move for no clear reason. And specifically, because you’re Black, that officer could feel comfortable violently attacking you. Friends state that this was something that would stay with Davis for years. Mentally he would randomly go back to that moment and become angry again. It’s an unfortunate experience that many Black and other marginalized people go through with the police.
As children, we’re taught to think of the police as the good guys, the people you seek out when things go wrong. But these negative experiences can create a shift in feelings. A lot of young Black and Hispanic men speak about having these experiences where they’re stopped and searched, questioned, or otherwise unnecessarily treated aggressively. I’m not a male but can remember having two negative experiences as a Black child in junior high school and later one incident as an adult. In two of those instances, I was actually attempting to report a crime.
Because of your color, where you live, etc. some police officers look at you and feel like they have the authority to be rude, dismissive, or physically abusive. Meanwhile, they wouldn’t try this kind of stuff in other neighborhoods or with people of another race or perceived income bracket. They might ask questions but there would be a different tone to the conversation.
Being treated in this manner is wrong regardless of if you’re famous or a regular unknown person. But there’s a lie told in America that if you stay out of trouble and don’t give anyone a hard time, you’ll be safe and the police won’t have cause to bother you. That the police are there to protect and serve the community. Until you realize that you’re not considered a part of that community.
Looking back through the history of American music, Black people have made tremendous contributions arguably creating many of the genres of American music. Yet it wasn’t until maybe the 1950s and heading into the 1960s, that Black artists would begin to regularly have mainstream success, especially with regards to crossing over in the record charts.
Segregation also affected the music and entertainment industry and quite often Black artists would be limited to particular venues, radio stations, etc. For quite some time, this put a cap on how big a Black artist or band could become. Often songs by Black artists would be covered by White artists and because they didn’t have the same limitations, their music could be pushed to a wider audience and the records would shoot up the charts.
Even genres of music wouldn’t get respect or mainstream opportunities until White artists moved to the forefront or otherwise became involved. This occurred with swing, jazz, blues, and most notably rock and roll. But here it is that Miles Davis was becoming a really big thing in music. Having achieved a great deal of success at Columbia Records he had the opportunity to exert greater control over the packaging of his music. At this point, he already had artistic control which is something that a lot of artists didn’t have. He had already been making a lot of business decisions but now began to direct the creative for his albums.
There’s a discussion of a particular collaboration with Gil Evans where they created three albums together. The first project, Miles Ahead had a concept or more a feeling of being a living the high life type album. To match this feeling, the label put some random White woman and a child on a yacht and used that as the album cover. But this was a Miles Davis album and he is a Black musician and Black man. And so there’s a story of him asking one of the record execs in not-so-nice terms what this random White woman was doing on his album cover. The second pressing of the album used a photo of Miles Davis.
One would think you shouldn’t have to explain to a record label not to pull nonsense like that. But it was something that used to happen with a lot of people’s albums. Never mind that this is a Black musician, the idea seems to have been that to appeal to the masses Davis couldn’t be on the cover. If a person was going to be on the album it needed to be a White person so that White people would be interested in buying the album.
Unfortunately, this continues to be a thing with both music and movies that feature Black people. Not that Black people are still left off the cover but rather that it’s assumed such projects won’t appeal to White audiences unless there is at least one White person somewhere in the mix, if not at the forefront. This would often affect TV shows and movies being greenlit until Black Panther came out. The assumption was that a movie could only be successful to a point with all Black leads as White people will not consume content where Black people are the primary characters.
Continuing to push the envelope, Davis decided to turn this on its head. If he’s the one making the music the album cover is a part of the creative package and should reflect him. It’s not cool for him to be the one making the music only to then be pushed into the shadows when it comes to promotion. What exactly was the plan for when people came to his live shows?
For the Someday My Prince Will Come album Davis took things a step further and put his then-wife, Frances Taylor Davis, on the cover. He saw himself as her prince and thought she was very beautiful and thus the perfect woman for the cover. This started his trend of featuring Black women on his album covers. It was a matter of saying you’re going to accept me as an artist and if we’re going to put beautiful women on the cover, they can be Black women. It was a sweet but also powerful gesture in that this woman was his inspiration for the album and in taking more creative control of his albums he wanted their presentation to better reflect him and what he represents.
This is the story of Miles Davis and I appreciate that the filmmaker and interviewees were honest about the man. As such he is presented as an incredibly flawed person and to be honest, I think we all are. Yet in speaking about his marriage to Taylor, what started as something beautiful concerning the album covers became increasingly dysfunctional and problematic.
Taylor was a dancer and actress with ties to the Katherine Dunham Company, Paris Opera Ballet, and various Broadway and off-Broadway musicals. She was already well into this career when she met Miles Davis, in fact, her talent and having the body of a dancer played a role in attracting his attention. Out of hundreds of aspiring dancers, she was selected as an original cast member for West Side Story which ended up being a big production.
Davis felt it was okay for him to be the successful one getting all of this attention and adoration. But due to Davis’ insecurities and sexism, he wanted the spotlight to just be on him. He couldn’t handle the woman that he was with also having her own energy. She could have her own thing going on but only to a certain level. Her potentially having an equally successful career that brought her attention separately from him and people wanting to be around her was unacceptable. That jealousy coupled with his drinking and using cocaine led to him being paranoid about their relationship.
In situations like this sometimes it can be insecurity within yourself where any kind of attention on your partner can feel as though it’s taking attention away from you. But it might also stoke your fears that this person might meet somebody else so there was a certain possessiveness about Taylor. And with that Davis pressured her into leaving the production of West Side Story. His ridiculous reason was that he felt a woman’s place was with her man and as his woman, she couldn’t be with him and be in the show at the same time because it would require her to do her own thing and move about independent of him.
Unfortunately, she gave in and left the production. I felt for her because it was obvious that this was something that she was very passionate about. It was quite selfish on his part because he’d sacrificed and worked hard to make himself a successful musician. He left his childhood sweetheart and children behind in East St. Louis to chase his dreams.
Davis met this woman and knew from the beginning that she was a dancer. It’s not like they’d agreed upon meeting that she’d be a housewife and then she suddenly decided to pursue this career path 10 or 15 years into their marriage. Even if that had been the case, I would think you’d try to be supportive as long as they’re not doing something crazy or unsafe. But in this case, his selfishness and insecurities pushed him to clip her wings.
He wanted to be the only one in the relationship allowed to have dreams and aspirations or more importantly the only one allowed to chase after them. I felt for her because there’s a sense that she’s an older woman now and decades have gone past. But looking back over her life she’s probably spent a lot of time thinking about how different her life might have been if she hadn’t left the show to make Davis happy.
It’s not for me to tell anybody what to do in their relationship. But if this is something positive that you’re passionate about by all means I think you should strive for it. This might mean that we sit down and have a conversation about adjusting our plans and it could call for compromises on both sides. But both people in a relationship should feel appreciated and supported.
Everyone isn’t going to be everyone else’s cup of tea but this is where compatibility comes into play. I don’t understand meeting someone that does A knowing you want someone that does B and then trying to change them to B once you’re married or otherwise in a relationship. If it’s important to you the other person doesn’t have to suddenly become interested or passionate about it as well but they should support your interest. You shouldn’t have to give up the things that make you feel complete or the things that bring you joy.
Even within a relationship, both people can have individual passions and interests that aren’t necessarily shared by the other person. Life is short, if you find something in life that you’re passionate about you owe it to yourself to chase after that dream or explore that interest. That’s not to say you should be reckless or do things to jeopardize your relationship. I say this as a creative person with a variety of interests so maybe I see things differently. But I was surprised that Davis is a passionate creative person but wholly unsupportive that his wife also has a creative passion.
It’s not just a matter of him being uninterested or unsupportive but artificially adding obstacles to her pursuing her career. He went so far as to bring his kids from East St. Louis to live with them in New York City to occupy her time. The woman doesn’t cook but you suddenly decide she needs to learn so she can feed the kids. It doesn’t sound like he decided to play a greater role in the lives of his children and wanted them closer. Instead, he was just looking for stuff to occupy her time and keep her in the house. Just all kinds of petty and selfish.
You claim you love this woman but are then doing seemingly everything possible to push her away. It’s like the insecurity that she’d meet someone and leave him led to self-sabotage where he was going to make her so miserable that she probably would look for someone else or at least just to get away from him. Taylor sounds like she loved and was good to Davis but he felt like he didn’t deserve her so he began orchestrating the demise of the relationship.
An innocent conversation with someone at a party or even mentioning in passing that a man is handsome, in this case, Quincy Jones, was a major issue. We all have our insecurities and might occasionally experience jealousy. It’s one thing if your partner is indeed being shady. But if there is nothing to indicate that your partner is being unfaithful and they also offer reassurances that nothing is going on then you kind of have to check yourself. As in a lot of these cases, Davis’ jealousy, attempt to isolate his wife, and verbal abuse escalated to physical abuse. Unless you or someone else is in physical danger, there’s never a reason for you to become violent with your partner.
It says a lot about Taylor as a person that despite him being Miles Davis and whatever lifestyle that might afford, she didn’t let that fill her eyes. It wasn’t a reason for her to stay with him and tolerate this ill-treatment. She deserved more, not just because of who she was or whatever talents and abilities she might have had but simply because she’s a human being. Nobody was put on Earth to be anybody’s punching bag.
There was a message in that as well as the progression of the relationship. Here it is that you have this insanely talented individual but being creative, emotional, depressed, or whatever else you might have going on doesn’t excuse your mistreatment of other people. Everyone explained what was going on but I appreciated that nobody, including Miles Davis, attempted to justify or excuse his behavior.
They openly and honestly discussed his flaws just as readily as his merits. Davis offered his perspective as a man looking back over his life decades later having recognized the wrongs that he had done and accepted accountability. It’s a tough subject to address but I respected the way that it was handled. There were no attempts to sugarcoat, romanticize, or otherwise downplay these incidents.
Watching Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool I began to feel like there was this thing of Davis going into these moods intermittently throughout the documentary. He had periods of being happy but would plunge into these periods of deep depression. And throughout his life, it seems like he experienced difficulty connecting to other people. He would be clean for a while but would begin experiencing depression and relapse. Picking back up his addiction likely just made the depression worse. The first time around it was heroin, the second time was alcohol and painkillers, and the third time was alcohol and cocaine.
I’m not a medical professional and certainly have no qualifications to diagnose mental health issues. But it does sound as though Davis might have had some kind of mental health and/or emotional issue. He certainly had periods of depression but it doesn’t sound like it was a matter of him occasionally being a bit sad. It was periods of deep and sustained unhappiness that would upend his life.
It seems like he was self-medicating by using drugs and alcohol to deal with these moods. I’m assuming that help with mental health issues was not readily available then or maybe people weren’t as readily seeking it out. Mental health is still a taboo subject in the present and most certainly was back then. In part, because he was creative and drugs seem to be more openly used in the entertainment industry, people sometimes excuse addiction as being a quirk of creative people.
Ultimately, Miles Davis was a grown man and nobody would have been able to make him do anything that he didn’t want to do. It certainly sounds like he might have benefited from some kind of therapy and/or mental health care. It’s unfortunate because here it is that you have this man who is incredibly creative and through music is giving such joy and pleasure to other people. But in his own life, he doesn’t seem to be fully enjoying his life and success.
He might have had some of the material trappings but didn’t get to fully enjoy it in the sense that he seemed to kind of be going through the motions with some of these things. Buying the cars that you buy when you’re successful, being with the women that you’re supposed to date when you’re successful, but then still having this unhappiness within yourself.
Davis was fortunate to meet and fall in love with several women. It doesn’t sound like he was a womanizer because, throughout the film, you hear about him being in relationships. But his unaddressed issues got in the way of his ability to be happy and content in a healthy relationship. Being what sounds like mentally unwell led to him exhibiting unhealthy behaviors within these relationships. There are multiple stories of him lashing out and becoming violent with women.
These issues got in the way of him having happy and fulfilling relationships but not just romantic relationships, his platonic friendships as well. Leaving his romantic interest and a friend alone for literally minutes would lead to him then accusing and badgering his friend about having sex with the woman. That’s a lot for anyone to deal with.
Despite his demons, Miles Davis was to a degree able to work around them. It’s incredible from the perspective that you get to understand his creative process in general but also behind particular albums as far as the things that inspired them and how they came together. But on the flip side, it’s sad to hear about him struggling with these various issues. I’ll be honest and state that not all of the music resonated with me but I thought it was interesting to see how the projects came together.
He was a musician for about 50 years and in the industry for 40+ years yet was only 65 when he died. Davis was middle-aged though still relatively young when he died. And looking back over his life it’s interesting that he lived through and adapted to several eras and styles of music. He began establishing himself as a jazz legend during the 1940s, grew commercially during the major changes of the 60s, and remained active for the most part through the 70s and 80s.
Consider that he took breaks at some points and explored different musical genres which enabled him to adapt and change his style over time. That in and of itself is pretty amazing because many artists are unable to adapt as they don’t experiment to learn, grow, or otherwise challenge themselves over time. They become so tied to a trend, style, or period in music which leads to their downfall. But here is a musician that took it upon himself to seek out and find inspiration from across the spectrum of music.
His willingness to change with the times allowed Davis to reinvent himself, switch up his style and collaborate with new artists. That speaks to his talent and creativity in the sense that he wasn’t a one-trick pony. He wasn’t just a jazz man. He wasn’t just a soul man. Instead, he was an all-around musician.
It wasn’t mentioned here but I read a story from Cicely Tyson about Michael Jackson in the 1980s. Jackson was the biggest artist at the time and Tyson, like many other people, was in awe of him. One night while the couple was talking, Davis gave Jackson his props but then turned around and showed his skill by interpreting one of Jackson’s popular songs on the trumpet. According to Tyson, it was a dazzling rendition.
Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool is a phenomenal documentary. Before watching I didn’t know much about the man beyond him being a legendary jazz musician. But by the end, I felt like I had a good look into not just Miles Davis’ career but also him as a man. I value that. Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool was well put together and is worth checking out especially if you’re unfamiliar with Miles Davis and/or jazz.
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