Perfectly timed for our Black History Month coverage, the first trailer for Don Cheadle’s Miles Davis biopic has been released. The film has been in development for nearly a decade.
When I’d last read about the film, it was going to be set in Miles’ funkadelic period. According to the trailer, while the ’70s constitute the main narrative, there’s plenty of flashback material to Miles’ career in the ’50s and ’60s. That doesn’t mean the costumer dressed Cheadle in The Andover Shop the way Charlie Davidson dressed Miles in 1954, but I was able to take some screen captures showing suits and ties.
Here’s a smoky club scene with the band and audience decked out. That’s Cheadle in the middle in light-colored jacket:
This looks to be a society party:
And here’s Cheadle as Miles playing a stark ballad on stage:
The film is scheduled for release on April 1. — CC
I began to write a message about how uninteresting this movie will probably be because it is set during his unfortunate, in my opinion, un-cool period-just about everything after 1967. I scrolled up and watched the trailer and immediately deleted my message. It actually looks interesting. I hope they did not use all the flashback material in the trailer.
May I suggest a listen to Miles Davis and Sonny Rollins Prestige sessions 1951-56 In Your Own Sweet Way. One of the coolest pieces ever. Very subtle.
That was going to be my trads never say…who is Miles Davis. As a trumpeter I always enjoyed Davis. Blue in Green with Coltrane is sublime.
Very hip of you, WFB.
Perhaps “This I Dig of You”.
Sublime because it was permanently “borrowed” from Bill Evans, who even wrote the liner notes for “Kind of Blue” (where “Blue in Green” was first heard), such was his contribution to those immortal sessions.
As for Coltrane’s solo, I’ve always thought his one on “Flamenco Sketches” was greater, but nevertheless equalled by the beautiful solo of Cannonball Adderley.
You bring up Bill Evans — one of my favorite pianists. I can listen to Evans’ delicate modal playing for hours and never tire. The work he did with Miles was indeed sublime.
I’m sure I mentioned in a previous post that I had the privilege of meeting Bill Evans in both London and NYC. A charming, highly intelligent man who gave you his full attention. His playing, of course, speaks for itself. For many aficionados “Kind of Blue” is their all time greatest jazz album, but mine will always be the “Sunday at the Village Vanguard” sessions (bought when first issued, blowing all my pocket money). Bill Evans and Scott la Faro reached heights of interplay that afternoon which, to this day, have never ceased to amaze me. With all due respects to the great bassists that followed after Scott’s tragic death, I don’t think Bill ever reached those heights again.
Although there is no reason to be limited, I would say I could live very happily just listening to Sunday at the Village Vanguard, Waltz for Debbie, Portraits in Jazz, and Kind of Blue. On my song sheet, it doesn’t get any better than these.
Indeed, Ward. I failed to say above that “Kind of Blue” comes right after the “Sunday at the Village Vanguard” sessions in my list of favourite albums. As a kid I loved “Kind of Blue” (I had 3 vinyl and 2 CD versions at the last count) and “Waltz for Debby” above all else, but it gradually swung around and realised that I couldn’t live without “Sunday”, and the trio’s rendition of “Alice in Wonderland”. When Bill is into a couple of his ascending runs I’ve always thought I could hear a symphony orchestra.
Bill and Scott were the greatest, but some others have come close. Chick Corea with Miroslav Vitous, for example.
But we’d better not get into Chick, another of my great loves. Nor John Taylor, nor Bobo Stenson.
I didn’t come to jazz until later in life. As a teen, I was a rock bum, played electric bass, complete with my own garage rock band. We basically terrorized the neighborhood.
I married an accountant who used to work for a boutique firm that handled artists, including lots of NY area musicians. She would frequently get comped tickets to her clients’ performances at the main venues in NYC — Iridium, Blue Note, V Vanguard, etc. When we lived in NYC, we would often go. In the smaller venues like Iridium, we would frequently sit with the musicians during breaks. One of her clients played with Miles and Bill E., along with many others, including Chick Corea. As you might imagine, it was an incredible introduction to jazz, especially for a garage rock star.
I always loved music, and when I was turned onto jazz, I never looked back. It’s all I listen to along with American Songbook renditions from Ella, Frank, Nat, et. al. BTW, I think Nat Cole is one of the most underrated pianists and enjoy his work. Obviously, Evans is from another world, though even Evans was influenced by Cole.
That’s a great story about being able to hang out with jazz musicians during breaks, especially ones who’ve actually played with Miles and Bill. Do tell. I’ve collared many a musician as he strolled by me at my customary position: leaning against the bar.
A lot of musicians were influenced by Nat Cole, none more than the great Oscar Peterson, who didn’t have a bad singing voice, either. Saw Peterson a couple of times in London, and I remember having a long chat with his brilliant Danish bassist, Niels Orsted Pedersen, whose rise from a 16 or 17 year old playing with passing American stars at the Montmartre Club in Copenhagen I’d followed via “Down Beat”. He even toured Europe with Bill Evans in 1965, when only 19. As you may have gathered, I’m heavily into bassists. Managed to catch the brilliant Miroslav Vitous, mentioned above, in London recently, still playing sensationally.
Mine has been a lifelong love of (post bebop) jazz. I wasn’t even a teenager when I got the bug, the magical Voice of America Jazz Hour with Willis Conover my sole (soul?) source, then later buying “Down Beat” and as many as I could afford of their 4/5 star rated LPs.
Miles and Dizzy were early heroes, plus those classy guys, the MJQ; thus the Bags’ Groove. Bags was the nickname of Milt Jackson, their great vibraphonist. My wife long ago asked me what the tune was that I seemed to be forever whistling. It was, of course, Bags’ Groove, my jazz nervous tick.
That’s half a blog post there! Finish it!
Since you like bassists, you are probably familiar with Ron Carter. He’s one of the greatest whose work spans from the ’60s, in Miles Davis’s quintet (2nd one in mid-60s, I think), played with Evans, and just about everyone else right up to the present. I never cared much for his foray into classical (Bach), but all his other work is a joy to hear. Plus, he even has an album entitled Mr. Bow tie. How can you beat that!
Speaking of MJQ, I love “Django.” What a great piece. I always wanted to be a guitarist, but could really only handle four strings, so stuck with bass. At least I wasn’t a drummer!
Though I’ve not a clue what CC is trying to impart, I nevertheless feel I’d be advised to put a sock in it.
So farewell. I’m off into the sunset, with n’er a glance behind………………….
What? I was saying you should write a blog post for the site.
Jazz and the Ivy Leagues – after the fall: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7nISamPc9A
Please excuse my shortness, compounded by current ill health, CC. An accolade was the last thing I expected, I must confess.
I was merely expressing my love for the great native American art form, something that still stirs after more years than I care to remember. Yet it’s still boring to many, of course, something we devotees tend to forget.
The perennial confusions that arise between Old and New England (I associate Ivy solely with New England)…..
Certainly hope you feel better. And if you’d like to share your tastes and recollections etc. drop me an email. Some guys don’t like the jazz posts, but as they say you can’t please all the people all the time.
With all the money and culture and the like, I would imagine there was also an association between men who wore the Ivy League look and classical music, including opera. Incidentally, did anyone else see that JFK’s evening scarf is available on eBay? It’s a steal at twice the price, with bidding starting at $5600.
Thanks for your kind words, CC. After I get my health problem sorted I may feel more in the requisite frame of mind to do an Updike (or latterly a Gopnik) and dazzle you with my boundless erudition.
As I walked on my campus grounds to pick up a study guide before finals, late at night as the snow fell a handful of years ago, I listened to a few tracks from “Blue Bird Legendary Savoy Sessions” on my mp3 player. I remember the campus postal lights gleaming in the darkness as specks of snow showed their existence as I made my way towards my department’s Collegiate Gothic building. I was the only living body on that path that night. A silent night. It helped that the university was rather isolated, approximately three hours away from an urban center, enhancing the darkness around me; it was a snow globe where stars were absent. It’s a nice memory.
In the past couple of years “Blue In Green” has become my favorite from “Blue Miles.” Excellent music overall.
Miles during a terrible period sounds lame, but I trust anything with Don Cheadle.
My wife and I popped into St. Patrick’s Cathedral while on a business trip in Manhattan a couple of years ago. There were only a hand full of people in the church and the silence was amazing. All I could think about was how wonderful Blue in Green would sound in such a place.
I have found Sonny Rollins’ He’s Younger Than You Are from the Alfie soundtrack great for morning coffee before the family rises.
Miles Ahead is great for sailing in the Chesapeake Bay.
Born On The Bayou by Creedence Clearwater Revival is perfect for training runs through the swampy trails in Seashore State Park on balmy summer mornings.
Am I the only one who has a soundtrack playing in his head most of the time?
I must get back to Chico Hamilton’s Irma La Douce and late breakfast with my girls.
Happy Valentine’s Day
@ sacksuit: I think it would’ve been a sublime experience if it were to happen … as a gliding camera shot in a movie as the track played over it! Unfortunately many NYC Catholic churches are being closed, so who knows, maybe one day an abandoned church walls will reverberate Blue in Green brought by an urban explorer.