“If Miles [Davis] was alive he would be working with Kendrick Lamar, and Kamasi Washington and Walter Smith III,” according to Don Cheadle, who has acted in and directed a new movie based on part of the life of the jazz legend.
Cheadle, who also co-wrote Miles Ahead, even learned the trumpet for eight years in an effort to better portray a complex man who is nevertheless on of his musical heroes.
He told Noisey that he believed Davis, who died in 1991 at the age of 65, would still be at the cutting edge of music were he around today.
He said: “The guys who really get it and are trying to bring that music forward, while at the same time changing it and turning it into a whole new style. I think Kendrick’s on the cutting edge of music right now. He’s incorporating all kinds of sounds. He’s an incredible storyteller. That’s something Miles would definitely have been into.”
Cheadle, who is due back on the big screen at the end of April to reprise his role as War Machine in Captain America: Civil War, said he deliberately focused on a darker period in Davis’ life, when he’d lost his mojo.
“It really gave us a jumping-off point to create something that felt like a composition, something that was music-centric,” he said. “It gave us the ability to use all the different types of music that Miles played, and we could attach our creativity to it – as opposed to checking off a bunch of boxes about what he did in various years.”
Miles Ahead was released in the US in 2015, but will appear in UK cinemas on 22 April 2016.