Jazz is not a subject that has been explored much in movies. Sure, there’s ‘Round Midnight and Bird, as well as biopics of the likes of Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, and, of course, Al Jolson. But Hollywood tends to prefer the excesses, aggrandizement and pretensions of rock n’ roll musicians over the improvisational brilliance of cats like Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, and Miles Davis. A new movie, however, might restore the balance and make the coolest music in history even cooler.
Miles Ahead, starring and directed by Don Cheadle, focuses on a period in the life of Miles Davis when he was trying to recover stolen tapes, and was in the company of an ambitious Rolling Stone reporter, played by Ewan McGregor. The movie takes an unorthodox treatment of its subject. “When I met with [Miles’] family, I told them I wanted to do something that wasn’t like I had seen before, and I had a take on the movie, that if I was going to play him, that it had to be as creative and different, that if it wasn’t as aspirational as he was, then I wasn’t really that interested,”Cheadle tells Entertainment Weekly. Miles Ahead opens on April 1, and you’d be a fool to miss it.