Birth of the Cool at Gene Siskel Theater until October 17
by Annette Dixon
Jazz giant, conductor of a band, composer, international performer and loved by fellow band members. This describes only a fraction of the accomplishments of Miles Davis, the man. Birth of The Cool is a documentary at Gene Siskel Theater, Chicago, director film maker Stanley Nelson who
give us many factors of Miles, never seen before, knows how to make documentary films. What the film captures is the unique soul reaching musical talents Miles had throughout his life, starting at age 8. It was very difficult to know what sounds he was hearing when composing his various genres for he went from Big Band Music, Swing, Jazz, everything out there even disco and Latin music. All his albums reflect his repertory.
Miles didn’t have a unique style like most musicians where if you heard one song you would know all the rest on the album would be the same. No, he had his gift, he heard sounds until no one else did, and creating a song out of it. When he had his quartet, he would tell them to play what they felt and hear what he was playing.
He wanted his musicians to go beyond reading notes, he said,
“search for that future sound, feel it and play what you feel. Be confident, for you are the best and I picked you.” They did it and success was in their hands. No notes were written for his musicians and only a sketch of notes were written down on Miles’s pad.
Stanley Nelson, director and film maker uses original footage and photos with full access from the Miles Davis Estate and the film features never before seen footage, and studio outtakes from his recording sessions, a new interview with Quincy Jones, Carlos Santana, Clive Davis, Wayne Shorter, and Ron Carter. Some are deceased now, for even Miles died in 1991.
Birth of the Cool appeared at Sundance Film Festival in Jan. 2019 and the Landmark in LA in Aug. then additional markets in Sept. and now Gene Siskel Theater.