The 8 Best Documentaries About Miles Davis

Jan 16, 2024 | Best Of, Music

Miles Davis was one of America’s most iconic jazz musicians, inspiring generations of artists with his unique sound and boundary-breaking music. He has been the subject of numerous documentaries over the years, each providing an in-depth look at his life and career. Here we present the eight best documentaries about Miles Davis that tell his remarkable story. From depicting his early days as a teenage jazz prodigy in St Louis to his later years as a musician and composer, each of these films offers viewers an intimate glimpse into the life of one of America’s most celebrated musicians. So grab some popcorn and get ready to experience Miles Davis’ enduring legacy with these eight amazing documentaries!


1. Round Miles – A Miles Davis Documentary

This documentary takes an in-depth look at the life and career of Miles Davis, one of the most influential musicians in the history of jazz. From his early days as a trumpet prodigy to his later innovative contributions to the evolution of jazz, a mix of interviews with Davis and modern day jazz musicians as well as archival footage help tell the story of this iconic artist. Through this film, viewers will gain an understanding of the different eras of Davis’ career and how his unique style was informed by the people and events in his life. Audiences will experience a powerful portrait of an enigmatic figure who lived on the cutting edge of music and culture. This documentary is essential viewing for any fan or student of jazz, or anyone interested in learning more about one of the most important figures in American music.


2. How A Routine Hospital Check Up Killed The Jazz Legend

Miles Davis had been complaining about having pain in his side for several weeks before his hospital visit. He was admitted to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles for treatment of what turned out to be a perforated ulcer. The ulcer had gone undetected and had been bleeding internally, which caused Davis serious medical complications. After undergoing emergency surgery, he died from respiratory failure and pneumonia on September 28th, 1991. Davis’ life was cut short, leaving in his wake a vast legacy of music and influence within the jazz scene that continues to live on today. He had left behind over 50 years of musical recordings, collaborations with other jazz greats, and countless unforgettable performances. Although Davis passed away nearly 30 years ago, many films have been created to tell his story and preserve his legacy, making miles Davis one of the most documented figures in jazz history.


3. The Making of Kind of Blue 2004 Miles Davis

The documentary explores how Miles Davis’s “Kind Of Blue” transcended music, becoming a lifestyle that people continue to live by today. It is the story of how one man’s vision and creativity can inspire millions of fans around the world. Through archival footage, interviews, and newly-discovered photos, Made In Heaven gives fans an intimate look at the life and music of Miles Davis. This documentary is a must-watch for any music enthusiast. It sheds light on the life and work of one of the most influential musicians in history, exploring his many musical styles and innovations. Not only does it offer insight into his creative process, but it also reveals what inspired him to create such timeless masterpieces.


4. Miles Davis on 60 Minutes(USA) – 1989

The video gives an insightful glimpse into what made Miles Davis so unique and how he helped shape jazz music as we know it today. Reasoner interviews Miles about topics such as musical influence, drug use, and even his famous feud with Herbie Hancock. Even 40 years later, Miles is still considered one of the greatest jazz musicians to ever live. If you’re looking for more documentaries about Miles Davis, there is plenty of content out there. The documentary “Miles Ahead” gives a detailed look into his life and career as one of the most influential figures in jazz music, while “The Last Miles: The Music of Miles Davis, 1980-1991” dives into his last decade of recordings. “Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool” focuses on his pioneering bebop and cool jazz styles, while “The Miles Davis Story” gives an overview of his life and career. No matter which documentary you pick, watching one about Miles Davis is sure to be a rewarding experience.


5. Artists Who Changed Music – Miles Davis

In recent years, numerous documentaries have been made about Davis’ life and music. These documentaries explore his musical legacy in greater depth than ever before, offering viewers an exclusive look into the mind of one of the most influential artists of all time. Here are the best documentaries about Miles Davis, each offering a unique perspective on the life and music of this legendary figure. This critically acclaimed biopic stars Don Cheadle in the titular role and focuses on two key periods in Davis’ career—his comeback from retirement in 1979-1980 and his alliance with producer Teo Macero in the early 1970s. The film was nominated for numerous awards and won Best Soundtrack at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival.


6. Miles Davis Une vie en jazz

Miles Davis Une vie en jazz is a documentary that tells the story of one of the world’s most influential musicians. It traces his illustrious career from his early days as a trombonist to his time as one of the most important figures in jazz music. The documentary features interviews with family members, friends, and collaborators who share their firsthand knowledge and insight into the life of this legendary artist. The documentary also provides an in-depth look at Miles Davis’s creative process, from his early jam sessions to the studio recordings that made him a jazz legend. Through archival footage and interviews with those closest to him, it paints a picture of a complex man who pushed musical boundaries and shaped the sound of modern music.


7. Miles Davis –  1 Sub. ESPAÑOL

The legend of jazz, Miles Davis, has been captured in a truly remarkable documentary. The movie is not only an exploration of his talent but also an exploration of his life and struggles. Follow the story of Miles Davis as he navigates fame and fortune through interviews with some of those closest to him as well as from never-before-seen footage. The movie takes you on a journey from his early childhood in Arkansas, to the turbulent years of stardom, through his personal and creative struggles and back again. It also highlights some of Miles’ best work— including Kind of Blue and Bitches Brew— within the context of his life story as well as interviews with those closest to him.


8. Miles Davis – The Coolest Music Innovator of the 20th Century

Miles Davis was a revolutionary musician and innovator who changed the landscape of jazz music forever. He was a master of improvisation and an indefatigable innovator, always seeking to push the boundaries of what was possible with sound. His influence can still be felt today in artists across all genres, from rock to hip-hop, as his innovative spirit inspired generations of musicians and fans alike. This powerful documentary explores his life, from the early days in New York City to his later years as a jazz legend. Through archival footage, interviews with those who knew him, and rare audio recordings, Miles Davis: The Coolest Music Innovator of the 20th Century paints an intimate portrait of one of music’s true greats.


Read On – Our Latest Top Documentaries Lists

David B