“The virginal clarity of a Sistine choirboy” – that was his sound. It was a long way, however, from being his life.

He is a great musician, no doubt, but also a vile person. These days, his history of abusive behavior has been largely forgotten or rationalized. Miles Davis was a man with demons, and those demons fueled his music into being an expression of love, rage, and ego. He had the potential to be a cruel, brutal man, and he knew it, and everyone around him suffered because of this.

One disgruntled woman, Pearl Cleage, was even moved to assert, in her (self-published) book Mad at Miles: A Black Woman’s Guide To Truth, that “Miles was guilty of self-confessed violent crimes against women such that we ought to break his albums, burn his tapes and scratch his CDs”.

Miles was a devotee of the doctrine that (as he stated it) “a hard dick has no conscience”, and it seems he was never faithful to any of his many women, admitting in his book that he slept with a lover just five days after marrying actress Cicely Tyson in 1981.

This documentary has disappointed many of Miles Davis’s fans.

But along with that, the great thing about this film is that the new generation and even people who have barely heard of Miles Davis can recognize him.

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