Miles Ahead [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]
I’m not sure it’s possible – and I really believe I gave it a nudge – to accurately describe what a giant let-down and huge waste of time (and talent) the Miles Ahead movie was; not a biopic but some fantasy buddy action flick bullshit, with splatterings of real and imagined Miles Davis details scattered about in and around. Utterly terrible and frightening to think it was ever green-lit.
Well the soundtrack does do a better job – and can exist out on its own. There are some dialogue snippets with Don Cheadle doing his Miles impersonation (pretty decent in little soundbites too) but for the most part this is a starter-kit of sorts. I’d worry that anyone who saw the film and didn’t already know anything about Miles Davis would be frightened off for life and those that did know about the great jazz trumpeter but sat through the lumbering bullshit anyway would be frightened back to their LPs from whatever period/era of acoustic or electric big-band or small-combo Miles they preferred.
But – sometimes when you’ve lived with a catalogue for a long time a Greatest Hits-type comp can be a bit of fun. And that’s how I’ve enjoyed this soundtrack, little samplings of the Bitches Brew-era, the Kind of Blue-era, the Sketches of Spain moments, all the key moments really…
And in Robert Glasper it was a wise choice for a modern composer/musician who carries some of the spirit of Miles’ interest in dabbling across styles and colour palettes and players – so Glasper’s handful of tunes attempt to suggest a place Miles might have gone for a supergroup that includes Miles’ former bandmates Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock alongside Glasper and his contemporaries (Esperanza Spalding, Gary Clark Jr and Antonio Sanchez. Keyon Harrold takes on the toughest job I guess – pretending to be Miles, which he does rather brilliantly, evoking his sound and style across a small handful of tracks for the film and for the film’s credits.
You don’t need this – because so much of this music exists in its original form (and context) and is better served and suited in that way. And really having anything to do with the film suggests you might have enjoyed it. Which is not really an acceptable outcome from such a glaring piece of shit. But you can’t fault the music and if this fires your tires so be it. No shame, I guess.