Miles Davis was indisputably one of the greatest musicians in jazz history. This 2001 documentary from BBC Four traces the outline of Davis’s extraordinary life: his musically precocious childhood in St. Louis; his move to New York City after graduating from high school in 1944 (ostensibly to attend Julliard, but really to immerse himself in the jazz club scene and connect with his idols Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker); his early bebop period; The Birth of Cool and his masterpiece, Kind of Blue; and his continued reinvention of himself in the 1960s and 1970s, when he incorporated rock and funk influences into his music.
The Miles Davis Story features interviews with many of the people who knew Davis best, including his wives and some of the great musicians who worked with him, like Jimmy Cobb, Shirley Horn, Clark Terry and Keith Jarrett. The film also includes older interviews with Dizzy Gillespie and with Davis himself, who died a decade earlier. The Miles Davis Story runs just over two hours, and will be added to our growing archive of Free Movies Online. It’s a great way to learn about the life of Davis, but to actually hear his music we recommend you revisit our earlier post, ‘The Sound of Miles Davis’: Classic 1959 Performance with John Coltrane.