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The Miles Davis Story
The Miles Davis Story
Actors: George Avakian, Ian Carr, Don Carter (II), Ron Carter, Jimmy Cobb
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
NR     2002     2hr 5min

The miles davis story explores the music & the man behind the public image from miles middle class upbringing in racially segregated east st. Louis to the last years when he travelled the world like a rock star. Studio: S...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: George Avakian, Ian Carr, Don Carter (II), Ron Carter, Jimmy Cobb
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
Sub-Genres: Pop, Davis, Miles, Jarrett, Keith, Jazz
Studio: Sony
Format: DVD - Black and White,Color
DVD Release Date: 11/26/2002
Original Release Date: 01/01/2002
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2002
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 2hr 5min
Screens: Black and White,Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Don't buy this
(2 out of 5 stars)

"I am so glad that I rented this disc from my local video store before I bought it. All Sony has done is buy the rights to some British television documentary and dump it straight to DVD. If you enjoy listening to other people talk about Miles and his music, this disc is for you. If you enjoy watching Miles play his music, this disc is not for you.I would pay $100 for a DVD that contained a complete, uninterrupted performance from any one of three of Miles bands shown on this disc:1) The 1959 television special featuring the Kind of Blue band and Gil Evans2) 1967 footage of the second great quintet featuring Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, and Tony Williams3) 1969 footage of the "lost" quintet featuring Jack DeJohnnette, Chick Corea, Dave Holland, and Wayne Shorter.You see glimpses of each these performances on this disc, but they are cut short by the endless stream of talking heads giving their "insights" into Miles's music: "Miles sure was moody", "Miles sure was a fine dresser", "Miles sure was violent in his personal life, but he sure did play some beautiful ballads on stage", etc. etc. In the words of Miles himself, so what. The only persons whose comments about Miles's music I would like to hear are either dead (John Coltrane, Tony Williams) or unwilling to participate in idiotic exercises like this t.v. special (Wayne Shorter).Please, Sony, release a DVD containing nothing but uninterrupted footage of Miles playing his music live. This disc is a frustrating waste of time for someone who cares about the music, not the myth that has grown up around the man."
Good intro to Miles, but his fans deserve a boxed-set.
J. Lund | SoCal, USA | 12/03/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This fast-paced two-hour documentary is probably the best introduction to the life of Miles Davis available, considerably more expansive than the hour-long 1986 PBS documentary MILES AHEAD. Nonetheless, being that this product is a companion to the 2-CD career overview ESSENTIAL MILES DAVIS, that's a warning to Davis fans not to expect too much in the way of details or extensive video footage. STORY provides a balanced presentation of his musical and personal life, from his upbringing in East St. Louis to his death in 1991...somewhat ala Ken Burns' JAZZ series (sans Wynton Marsalis and Stanley Crouch, of course), but much more concise due to the time constraints. Those fans who are familiar with Miles' career won't find much new here, especially if you've read John Szwed's new bio SO WHAT. For one, Miles' succession of musical achievements are alluded to but not examined in depth. As with Szwed's book, STORY benefits by the participation of family members, from ex-wives/partners Irene Cawthorn & Frances Davis to daughter Cheryl and youngest son Erin (who briefly joined Miles' band in 1990). For the most part there is an uplifting sense of joy in the retracing of Miles' steps offered by both these participants and an impressive but too-short list of musicians newly interviewed (from Jimmy Cobb to Marcus Miller). Many still-living sidepersons are conspicuous by their absence: one wonders did they decline to be interviewed...or were they not asked? In addition, STORY lifts some interview segments from the 1984 CBS promo video, the above-mentioned PBS documentary, and other 1980s the voice of Miles and other greats who either have passed (e.g., Gil Evans, Dizzy Gillespie) or unavailable for this latest project (e.g., Keith Jarrett), are heard. For Miles fans the big frustration will be in seeing every performance clip shown for only a few seconds before there is a voice-over or cut to the next segment. However, in trying to cover the life of an artist who was artistically productive for most of his adult life, one has to accept that Davis' story cannot be told in two hours without moving quickly through each period of his career. Otherwise they might as well turn it into a multi-volume project (which btw is a great idea--ala the Beatles ANTHOLOGY video). I was disappointed that no one from Miles' last band was interviewed (except for Erin), and surprised that no mention was made of the 1991 `Miles Plays Gil" Montreux concert (the 1991 Paris "reunion" show two days later IS covered), or of Davis' last "significant other" (Jo Gelbard). Hopefully Legacy will soon compile a video series that presents the wealth of available video footage in an unabridged form. For now, STORY provides a concise overview of the life of Miles Davis that touches on rather than digs into the details."
Are they stupid, or what?
Mag Spyridon Kleitsas | 10/15/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I'm wondering if all the people who gave this DVD a low rating because it contains "too much talking and not enough music" understand the meaning of the word "documentary?" This is not a concert performance, it is a documentary. As such, it did exactly what it should have. It tells the story of Miles Davis from his early youth to his untimely death. I bought it exactly for that reason and was not disappointed. Perhaps the critical reviewers would have saved themselves a great deal of frustration if they had simply read the description of the DVD on the back cover. Talk about dumb!!!"
The title says it all!!!
Mag Spyridon Kleitsas | Vienna, Austria | 01/10/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This DVD is amazing, offers an insight to Miles' career and personal life, from the people who lived and worked with him and of course from Miles himself. For all of those who might have read books on Miles' life, this DVD will not give you so much new information and facts, but what this DVD will do, is to offer you plenty of visualizations on things you might have read or heard.
This DVD though, as the title explicitly states is THE MILES DAVIS STORY and not Miles Davis Live In ...... , or whatever else, so I dont unserstand how some people were expecting live performances. This is a documentary and not a concert. What you see is what you get.
I really think that this is a great documentary, and everybody who wants to think of him/herself as a serious Jazz fan should realy own this DVD.
Five stars without hesitation."