Columbia Records and Legacy Recordings, the catalogue division of Sony Music Entertainment, will release Miles Davis – Music From and Inspired by “Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool,” a Film by Stanley Nelson on Friday, February 21. “Hail To The Real Chief”, featuring unreleased Miles performances joined by an all-star cast, is out now!
Music From and Inspired by “Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool” is the definitive audio companion to the critically-acclaimed and Grammy-nominated new documentary directed and produced by Stanley Nelson (winner of three Primetime Emmy Awards, a MacArthur Fellowship “genius” grant, and recipient of the 2013 National Humanities Medal from President Obama).
An essential Miles Davis playlist for seasoned fans and new listeners alike, the soundtrack was lovingly curated by the director Nelson and paired with short audio excerpts from the film for a unique listening experience. It brings together recordings and performances spanning labels and the artist’s musical evolution – from Donna Lee (a 1947 Savoy master take with legendary alto saxophonist Charlie Parker) to Moon Dreams from the groundbreaking 1949 Capitol sessions that were ultimately collected on the album ‘Birth Of The Cool’, through the seminal 1950s pieces for Columbia that revolutionized the worlds of jazz and popular music (including ‘Generique’, Miles’ improvised soundtrack to Louis Malle’s ‘Elevator to the Gallows’ as well as tracks from ‘Miles Ahead’ and, of course the most popular jazz album of all time, ‘Kind of Blue’).
The album also highlights Miles’s evolution in the 1960s with tracks from ‘Sketches of Spain’ and ‘Someday My Prince Will Come’ to his iconoclastic invention of electric jazz/fusion (exemplified in a 45rpm single edit of Miles Runs the Voodoo Down from ‘Bitches Brew’). And it documents his triumphant mid 1980s comeback (1986’s Tutu), while premiering a brand-new track, Hail To The Real Chief. The new track features unreleased Miles Davis studio trumpet performances combined with music written by Lenny White, produced by White and Vince Wilburn, Jr and featuring an all-star collection of Miles band alumni and acolytes including White, Wilburn, Marcus Miller, Emilio Modeste, Jeremy Pelt, Antoine Roney, John Scofield, Bernard Wright, and Quinton Zoto.
“Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool” premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival in January and has been screened in limited runs in select theaters in the US, Canada and Europe. The film had its UK premiere at The London Film Festival on October 10 and will begin a theatrical run in the UK today (Visit HERE for details), capped by a screening during the London Jazz Festival at the Barbican on November 16 (info HERE). Later this year BBC2 in the UK will give the film its worldwide broadcast debut, while it is slated for its US broadcast premiere as part of PBS American Masters in early 2020.
Nelson’s documentary has been hailed by critics as an engaging key to understanding the life, art and genius of Miles Davis. Owen Gleiberman, praised the movie in Variety (January 30, 2019) as “…. a tantalizing portrait: rich, probing, mournful, romantic, triumphant, tragic, exhilarating, and blisteringly honest…. Nelson is a filmmaker with a sixth sense for how to nudge history into the present.” The San Francisco Chronicle’s Joel Selvin called the “New Miles Davis doc an essential portrait of iconic jazz genius” (September 3, 2019).
“I remember stealing my father’s copy of ‘Kind of Blue’ to take with me to college. I’ve been fascinated with Miles since then and have long dreamed of telling his story. He was to me a singular force of nature; the very embodiment of cool,” said the director Stanley Nelson. “This film is very special to me and curating the soundtrack gave me a chance to delve even deeper into his archive so that both diehard fans and his new listeners could discover something new.”
With full access to the Miles Davis Estate, the film features never-before-seen footage, including studio outtakes from his recording sessions, rare photos and new interviews with Quincy Jones, Carlos Santana, Clive Davis, Wayne Shorter and Ron Carter, among others. Select interview soundbites are included as commentary tracks on the album. MILES DAVIS: BIRTH OF THE COOL is a Firelight Media, Eagle Rock Films and American Masters Pictures Production in association with BBC Music.
Miles Davis – Music From and Inspired by “Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool,” a Film by Stanley Nelson is produced by Stanley Nelson and Vince Wilburn, Jr.
Miles Davis Music From and Inspired by “Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool,” a Film by Stanley Nelson
1. Commentary: Herbie Hancock, Jimmy Heath
2. Milestones (1958)
3. Commentary: Greg Tate
4. Donna Lee (Charlie Parker with Miles Davis) (1947)
5. Commentary: Ashley Kahn, Symphony Sid Introduction
6. Moon Dreams (1949)
7. Commentary: George Wein
8. ‘Round Midnight (1957)
9. Commentary: Carlos Santana
10. It Never Entered My Mind (1959)
11. Commentary: Vincent Bessieres
12. Generique (1958)
13. Commentary: Jimmy Cobb
14. So What (1959)
15. Commentary: Gil Evans
16. New Rhumba (1957)
17. Commentary: Frances Taylor Davis
18. The Pan Piper (Alborada de Vigo) (1960)
19. Commentary: Jack Chambers
20. Someday My Prince Will Come (1961)
21. Commentary: Wayne Shorter
22. Footprints (1967)
23. Commentary: Carlos Santana, Quincy Troupe
24. Miles Runs The Voodoo Down (45RPM Single Edit) (1970)
25. Commentary: Marcus Miller
26. Tutu (1986)
27. Commentary: Erin Davis
28. Hail To The Real Chief (Brand New Recording featuring unreleased Miles Davis performances; Produced by Lenny White & Vince Wilburn, Jr.)