Sony’s film biography of Miles Davis approaches its subject with a warmth of spirit that’s not always found in the narrative adventures of an artist or in the documentary of a genre such as jazz. Director Mike Dibb combines essential aural and visual elements to bring his production to life. Many of the film segments and mini-interviews come from contemporary sources. Davis’ paintings bring their vivid colors to the screen, while close friends of the artist provide candid comments. The beautiful photography, much of it contemporary, includes scenic urban landscapes and pertinent scenery. The inclusion of a stretch of the beach in Malibu where Davis lived his later years, for example, lends an often overlooked touch to the biography. The easy-to-understand mini-interviews come from ordinary folks: people close to Miles Davis, people who knew him well and many who were influenced by his guidance over the years. Nephew, daughter, mother of his children, professional mentor, co-worker, and apprentice all of them have interesting thoughts to share. Dibb narrates the feature-length biography. Many of the comments come from Ian Carr, Clark Terry, Frances Davis and Irene Cawthon. The wide variety of film clips includes abbreviated musical performances by Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock and Tony Williams. Still photographs add to the wealth of information. Recommended, The Miles Davis Story
DVD deals with the trumpeter’s life in a manner comfortable enough to bring the viewer into the picture with him for eternity.
Approximate Running Time: 125 minutes.
Speakers: Miles Davis, Don Alias, George Avakian, Ian Carr, Ron Carter, Irene Cawthon, Jimmy Cobb, Chick Corea, Cheryl Davis, Erin Davis, Frances Davis, Jack DeJohnette, Lydia DeJohnette, Bill Evans (saxophonist), Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock, Dave Holland, Shirley Horn, Keith Jarrett, Spike Lee, Jean-Pierre Leloir, Dave Liebman, John McLaughlin, Pierre Michelot, Marcus Miller, John Scofield, Clark Terry, Jeanette Urtreger, Rene Urtreger, Bob Weinstock, Vincent Wilburn, Jr., Joe Zawinul.
Performers: Miles Davis- trumpet & flugelhorn; Dizzy Gillespie- trumpet; Dave Liebman- soprano saxophone; Bill Evans- soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone; Charlie Parker- alto saxophone; John Coltrane- tenor saxophone; John Scofield- guitar; Herbie Hancock- piano; Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett- keyboards; Ron Carter, Dave Holland- bass; Jimi Hendrix, Marcus Miller- electric bass; Jack DeJohnette, Tony Williams, Vincent Wilburn, Jr.- drums; Don Alias- percussion.
Brief Textual Biography
Selected Album Profiles