Monday, February 02, 2015

Miles on Monday: 30 years of Aura, a new book about Bitches Brew, and more

For this week's "Miles On Monday," some news items from the past week about the legendary trumpeter:

* According to the official Twitter account for Miles Ahead, actor-director Don Cheadle's movie about Davis, the film's release still is targeted for 2015, but there's no specific date yet. During an appearance on The Today Show, Cheadle also shared another "sneak peek" photo of him as Davis (pictured, top left).

* Meanwhile, actress Emayatzy Corinealdi, who plays Davis' wife Frances Taylor Davis in the film, gave an interview to The Source in which she spoke briefly about Miles Ahead and Cheadle.

* This past weekend marked 30 years since the sessions in which Davis recorded the album Aura with Palle Mikkelborg and the Danish Radio Big Band at Easy Sound Studio in Copenhagen.You can read the story behind the recording sessions and see 25 minutes of video about them produced for Danish TV in this essay on the jazz blog Salt Peanuts.

* Listen to This: Miles Davis and Bitches Brew, a new book about Davis and one of his most famous albums, was released last week by the University Press of Mississippi. The first printing is a limited-edition hardback bound in a case, with a trade paperback to follow.

Author Victor Svorinich reportedly worked on the book (pictured, lower left) for nearly 15 years. Promotional material says it "revisits the mystery and skepticism surrounding the album, and places it into both a historical and musical context using new interviews, original analysis, recently found recordings, unearthed session data sheets, memoranda, letters, musical transcriptions, scores, and a wealth of other material. Additionally, Listen to This encompasses a thorough examination of producer Teo Macero's archives and Bitches Brew's original session reels in order to provide the only complete day-to-day account of the sessions."

* The website Thrillist used a picture of Davis to illustrate an article on "The Coolest Dude From Every State," which named the trumpeter the coolest person ever from his home state of Illinois and noted that "If Miles Davis had been born on the planet Cool, he’d be the coolest guy from there, too."

* Lastly, Road and Track magazine recalls Davis' enthusiasm for fast cars with an article titled "When Miles Davis Crashed His Lamborghini, I Was There."

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