Kind of Clichéd: How the Miles Davis Movie Could Have Been Better

When I heard that “Miles Ahead,” the bio-pic about Miles Davis starring and directed by Don Cheadle, would be set in the late nineteen-seventies, when Davis had stopped performing in public—and would be centered on the story of Davis’s friendship with a white journalist—I was excited, because I knew of such a real-life story, and it’s a good one.

The journalist Eric Nisenson (who died in 2003) was befriended by Davis in that period and wrote about the story of their friendship in his biography of Davis, “ ’Round About Midnight.” It’s the story of an earnest lover of jazz who spent lots of time in the combination apartment and music studio of the bassist Walter Booker. One night, Davis came to Booker’s place, met Nisenson, and, to the journalist’s surprise, became a pal. The resulting portrait of Davis by Nisenson was an unsparingly intimate, complex, and oddly whimsical view of the artist in retreat.

Source: The New Yorker

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