Preview | Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool - Director Stanley Nelson Talks About Miles Davis

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(jazz music) - Miles was one of the most influential musicians in the 20th century for so many different reasons.

You can't get away from Miles's music.

It's just, it's just there.

(jazz music) One of the things that drove us on the film was how did such, kind of this rough person make some of the most beautiful music ever?

(jazz music) What we really felt like, how do you show Miles's music?

How do you show music?

We came up with the idea of using 'It Never Entered My Mind,' which is one of the most beautiful songs that Miles plays, and one of my favorites, and then I think we just started experimenting, and we just kind of stuck some photos up there, and really quickly we were like, 'This is gonna work.'

We really wanted to show you just the beauty in that one sequence, and it's probably my favorite piece that I've ever cut in my life.

(jazz music) There's so many windows into Miles's music.

There the cool jazz of The Birth of the Cool, that Miles kind of invents the idea of cool jazz.

There the Kind of Blue, and the modal music, and this improvisation that knows no equal.

There's Bitches Brew, which is Miles's version of a rock album, and I think that the thing to understand is it became more than just a film about a jazz musician.

It's a film about the second half of the 20th century in the United States told through music.

(jazz music)