The director and star of new Miles Davis movie Miles Ahead insists his film is anything but the standard muso biopic, telling MOJO of the efforts made to ensure the film remained faithful to the jazz pioneer’s maverick spirit.
Speaking in our new issue (May 2016 / #270) on sale in the UK from Tuesday (March 22), Don Cheadle (pictured above in his role as the trumpeter, see below for more), joins a host of the legend’s collaborators as they mull over the most extraordinary period in Davis’ life and work: his electric ’70s.
“The biggest thing I learned was to refuse to be boxed in by others’ expectations.” he tells MOJO Alan Light. “That’s something I kept repeating to myself, reminding myself.”
“This felt like an opportunity to do something that felt like Bitches Brew,” he adds, referring to the 1970 keynote album of Davis’s funk and rock-influenced electric phase. “When you listen to that, it’s a search and it falls apart and it feels violent, and constructs and then it’s deconstructed.”
The Cheadle exclusive augments interviews with Davis’s friends and collaborators, including Dave Liebman, Reggie Lucas and Paul Buckmaster, in MOJO’s eight-page Miles Fest, centring on the creation and aftermath of the once reviled, now revered On The Corner album.
Order MOJO now – free postage now available on print copies in the UK or buy a copy for overseas delivery – for the full feature, a Rolling Stones extravaganza, plus a 15-track FREE CD of dark-hued mid-’60s pop nuggets.
Gallery – Miles Ahead
In the ring: Don Cheadle as ’50s Miles in one of the film's flashbacks.
Ewan McGregor plays Rolling Stone 'reporter' Dave Brill, who attempts to interview Cheadle’s Davis during the 'Activator Years'. Cue guns and car chases...
The film also examines Davis's relationship with dancer/ singer Frances Taylor, who is played by Emayatzy Corinealdi.
In the big chair: Miles Ahead is also Don Cheadle's directorial debut.
Miles Ahead opens in UK cinemas on April 22.