There’s jazz and then there’s Miles Davis’ “Birth of the cool”

22 January 2019 Jazz Theory Latest

By: Natasha Archary


Any jazz enthusiast will have come across the name Miles Davis in the archives of jazz history at some point. If you haven’t yet, rocks aren’t really that comfortable you know.

He’s only the pioneer of jazz. Decades later, his album “Birth of the Cool” is still the most talked about masterpiece in the industry.


Reissues galore

Initially released on Capitol Records in 1957, Rebirth of cool has since been reissued many times on CD. Not too long ago Blue Note, released a version using original tapes from producer Rudy Van Gelder.


Although he is quite possibly one of the most influential figures in jazz, not much is known about the brilliant musician. Winner of eight Grammy Awards, Davis died in 1991 from respiratory distress.


Birth of the cool

Born to a dental surgeon and music teacher, meant Davis was introduced to the trumpet at the tender age of 13. Under the guidance of private lessons by Elwood Buchanan, it seems Davis quickly developed a talent for the instrument. And the rest as they say…


It was between 1945 and 1948 that Davis recorded music religiously. Releasing a slew of singles which would later be considered pivotal to the genre and a significant contribution to modern jazz. The singles were then released on his album, Birth of the cool.


Troubled tribute

A documentary on the musician, “Miles Davis: Birth of the cool”, is set for a global theatrical release towards the end of 2019. It follows the previous documentary released by the BBC in 2001.


It will reveal the darker side to Davis, and his troubled battle with addiction whilst still focusing on the method behind the genius. Davis went onto inspire Quincy Jones, Carlos Santana, Clive Davis and many other talented musicians through the ages.


If you have not listened to Birth of the cool, we highly recommend it this Jazzuary. It’s bound to awaken a deeper love for the genre.



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