The inextinguishable ardor of fans that propels the career of pop music’s relics—packed stadium, world tours, films, biographies and illustrated coffee table behemoths — that’s all business as usual. What is responsible for that ardor—well that’s an age old conundrum? Thus we have Rolling Stones 50, ” curated, introduced and narrated by the band themselves… the only officially authorized book to celebrate this milestone. With privileged access to a wealth of unseen and rare material, it is packed with superb reportage photography, contact sheets, negative strips, outtakes and so much more, from every period in the band’s history.” Alright then.
The thing about rock n roll stardom and celebrity is that there very few musicians of whom you can say that they are unique or even particularly original. The word ‘icon’ is loosely bandied about which seems a flawed perception from the get go—after all pop music is nothing if it is not derivative. Ask me to measure the iconic stature of Mick Jaeger or Keith Richard versus Miles Davis and, well, its mangos and bananas. Which brings me to a wonderful new volume, Miles Davis: The Complete Illustrated History(Voyageur Press) with contributions from Sonny Rollins, Bill Cosby, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Clark Terry, Lenny White, Greg Tate, George Wein, Gerald Early,and Dave Liebman. For the small but dedicated Miles Davis audience this book is a mesmerizing retrospective of a spectacular musician and modern American music that he helped shape.
There have been rumors for sometime of a Miles Davis biopic spearheaded by the very talented Don Cheadle
I’ve loved him since fifth grade, when I started playing saxophone and my parents had his Porgy and Bess album. Very young I was just taken with the music. I was a student of it very early, and that’s just sort of never waned. A lot of people think they know a lot about Miles but they only know the name and the image, the iconography. You say: “Miles Davis” to most people and they go: “Yeah, jazz! He played sax or he played something, right?” They don’t really know, and that’s fine. I wanted to make a movie for the people who didn’t know about Miles Davis, so they could just enjoy the movie and the music.
I can hardly wait…
Currently reading The Bird Saviors by William Cobb (Unbridled)