"Birth of the Cool
: How Jazz Great Miles Davis Found His Sound" is a deftly crafted picture book biography written by Kathleen Cornell Berman that explores the childhood and early career of a jazz legend as he finds his voice and shapes a new musical sound.
There are films about famous figures: Harvey Weinstein (in "Untouchable," from director Ursula Macfarlane); Miles Davis ("Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool
"); the iconic designer Halston; newscaster Mike Wallace ("Mike Wallace Is Here"); Toni Morrison ("Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am"); David Crosby ("David Crosby: Remember My Name"); politician Roy Cohn ("Where's My Roy Cohn"); Dr.
1.30pm: Birth of the Cool
- Jim Wynn Nonet, Saint Kitchen, free ?
Davis' career spanned some 50 years, and the highlights are many, from his pioneering "Birth of the Cool
" sessions starting in 1949, to his first quintet with John Coltrane in the '50s, the second great quintet with Herbie Hancock in the '60s, and his electro-funk Prince of Darkness phase.
My only quibble: as a horn player, I was hoping to see a small mention of the horn in jazz, especially in the otherwise-fine sections on Birth of the Cool
and Gil Evans.
But the real revolution in Miles's approach and in the jazz idiom generally had come circa ten years earlier in Miles's seminal Birth of the Cool
recording, which marked Miles's break with the Bebop style of Charlie "Yardbird" Parker and Dizzy "Diz" Gillespie.
The Birth of the Cool
of Miles Davis and His Associates.
I looked at Birth of the Cool
by Lewis MacAdams, Cool Rules by Pountain and Robins, Hip: A History by John Leland, The Conquest of Cool by Thomas Frank, and American Cool by Peter Stearns.
This is a musical analysis of the pivotal Miles Davis Orchestra recordings of 1948-1950, including the radio broadcasts from the Royal Roost (found on The Complete Birth of the Cool
from Capital Records) that is aimed at young musicians (college students primarily).
When recently seen together at the Studio Museum in Harlem in "Birth of the Cool
," the traveling retrospective of Hendricks's work--a rhyming and rhythmic layout of individuals and groups, dark paintings and light ones, men and women--the artist's compositions suggested a series of contrapuntal relations between various forms of cultural alterity and vernacular style.
is kicking off a set of free interactive web-streaming learning programs in conjunction with the fall exhibition, Birth of the Cool
: California Art, Design, and Culture at Midcentury.
Hendricks: Birth of the Cool
, Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University, Durham, N.C., through July 13.