Miles Davis’ life explored in new documentary, Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool

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Featuring previously unseen archival footage, studio outtakes and photographs.

Miles Davis’ artistic development and social legacy has been explored, in a new documentary called Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool, directed by Stanley Nelson, and now showing on BBC iPlayer.

Read more: An introduction to the electric sound of Miles Davis

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool spans from his upbringing in St. Luis and brief stint at New York’s Julliard School, to the making of his soundtrack to Louis Malle’s 1985 film Elevator to the Gallows, and the later impact of his music on house and electronica.

15 years in the making, Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool includes archival footage and photographs, alongside extracts from Davis’ autobiography read by actor Carl Lumbly. The film also features interviews with Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, and Frances Taylor – Davis’ first wife.

Alongside his musical legacy, the film also looks at Davis fight against racism during the course of his career as well as personal relationships.

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool is now showing on BBC iPlayer through September 2020.

Head here to watch in full.

Photos courtesy of Eagle Rock Entertainment.

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