Miles Davis Remains Cool, Even If The "Birth Of The Cool" Documentary Is Just Okay
The influence Miles Davis had on the art of jazz is profound. Though the documentary Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool isn’t as extraordinary, the production is earnest and sincere in its respect for Davis and what he accomplished in his lifetime.
Birth of the Cool chronicles the life and legacy of Miles Davis, starting from the beginning of his career as a teenager up to his final years. Carl Lumbly narrates the feature in Davis’ own words and in a similarly raspy voice that became so iconic with Davis’ persona. The result is an endearing take on the evolution of Davis.
The documentary and its interviewees are unabashed in their admiration for Davis, spending a significant amount of time praising Davis’ work and work ethic. It’s a perspective that fans will appreciate as the documentary highlights his accomplishments and acknowledges his struggles.
Yet, for Miles Davis to have been such a transformative artist, he probably deserved a more creative portrayal of his story. Birth of the Cool sticks closely to a traditional documentary presentation style: interviews overlaid by a chronological slideshow of imagery and clips, plus a jolt of conceited humor later in the feature from Davis’ ex-wife, Frances Taylor.
Lumbly does offer compelling delivery of Davis’ self-written narrative, and of course, the ultimate highlight of the feature is experiencing Davis’ music as the film’s primary soundtrack. Birth of the Cool is a fascinating journey that either establishes or reaffirms audiences’ reverence for Miles Davis’ brand of “cool”.
Acting and Casting - 2 | Visual Effects and Editing - 1 | Story and Message - 1 | Entertainment Value - 2 | Music Score and Soundtrack - 2 | Reviewer's Preference - 1 | What does this mean?