“It's the heart. You can feel it. First of all, he has his own sound, and it's warm, and it's rich, but it just has some essence, some spiritual, non-tangible thing about it that just goes right through the brain and right to your heart.”
Miles Davis: Horn player, bandleader, innovator. Elegant, intellectual, vain. Callous, conflicted, controversial. Magnificent, mercurial. Genius. The very embodiment of cool. The man with a sound so beautiful it could break your heart.
The central theme of Miles Davis's life was his restless determination to break boundaries and live life on his own terms. It made him a star—it also made him incredibly difficult to live with, for the people who loved him most. Again and again, in music and in life, Miles broke with convention—and when he thought his work came to represent a new convention, he changed it again. 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 even hip-hop.
Featuring never-before-seen archival footage, studio outtakes, and rare photos, Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool tells the story of a truly singular talent and unpacks the man behind the horn.
Directed by Emmy Award-winner Stanley Nelson (Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities, The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, Freedom Riders for American Experience), Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool is a co-production of Eagle Rock Entertainment, Firelight Films, and American Masters Pictures.