Miles Beyond the Biopic: Don Cheadle Riffs on a Jazz Legend

Don Cheadle has managed to accomplish something no one has been able to pull off in two decades: serve up a bigscreen tale of jazz great Miles Davis.

“Miles Ahead,” in which the versatile actor portrays the legendary trumpeter, marks the directorial debut of Cheadle, who co-wrote the script. The independently financed production, made for $8.5 million, wrapped a monthlong shoot in Cincinnati in mid-August, capping a lengthy gestation period for a project that began eight years ago with Davis’ posthumous induction into the Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame.

The picture, which has yet to score a U.S. distributor, is among a number of film endeavors centering on iconic black musicians — all of them divisive figures who were considered ahead of their time, with none of the films so far connecting with a wide audience.

Most recently, “Jimi: All Is by My Side,” starring Andre Benjamin aka Outkast’s Andre 3000 as Jimi Hendrix, bowed quietly Sept. 26, and has grossed less than $300,000 to date. “Get On Up,” the $30 million James Brown biopic, received a similarly chilly reception, despite major studio support Universal, grossing little more than its budget since its Aug. 1 debut. Alex Gibney’s low-earning documentary “Finding Fela!” about Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, opened in limited release in early August.

via Miles Beyond the Biopic: Don Cheadle Riffs on a Jazz Legend | Variety.

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Miles Davis | Around The Web

A Weekly Round-Up Of Miles Davis News & Notes

“Bags’ Groove” is the name of an album Miles Davis recorded in 1954 with a group of stellar musicians. It’s also the name of a track from that album – well, two tracks really, as they recorded it twice and released both versions. [elder music / times goes by]

Plans for Davis Statue Moving Forward [alton daily news]

Miles Davis Hated Everything [kotaku]

Video: The door that impersonates Miles Davis [the strut]

The Gunslinger Guide to Miles Davis #7 [If Charlie Parker Was a Gunslinger,
There’d Be a Whole Lot of Dead Copycats
]

“Miles was in retirement for the second half of the seventies, from about 1975 to 1981. In 1981, I got a call from him saying that he was going back into the studio, which was a big surprise to me. I had heard rumors that he was thinking about making a comeback, but you never know whether or not to believe rumors.

The next thing I knew, I was on the phone with him and he was asking me if I could come into the studio in a couple of hours. So I ran to his studio and the next thing you know, I was working with Miles Davis. He asked me to be in his band and, of course, I said yes.” [Interview with Marcus Miller via Huffington Post]