Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool

More than any other black musician of the later 20th century, Miles Davis challenged the dominant culture. He broke boundaries as a black man and lived life on his own terms. It made him a star. For the people who loved him most, it also made him incredibly difficult to live with. In music and in life, Miles broke with convention. 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 hip-hop. (115 mins)

“It’s a tantalizing portrait: rich, probing, mournful, romantic, triumphant, tragic, exhilarating, and blisteringly honest.” – Owen Gleiberman, Variety

“Filmmaker Stanley Nelson has gifted us with a thoughtful and rich profile which, like a fading note escaping from Davis’ trumpet, leaves us wanting more.” – Marjorie Baumgarten, Austin Chronicle