The Miles Davis documentary Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool will make its television debut on PBS on February 25. On the preceding Friday, Columbia Records will release the film’s official soundtrack. The label calls the collection an “essential playlist for seasoned fans and new listeners alike.”
The film was recently nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Music Film. Its director, Stanley Nelson, is the recipient of three Primetime Emmy Awards and a MacArthur Fellowship grant. In addition to known Davis classics, the soundtrack also premieres a previously-unheard Davis track, “Hail to the Real Chief.”
Birth of the Cool premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. Subsequently, the film appeared in select theaters throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe.
“I remember stealing my father’s copy of Kind of Blue to take with me to college,” Nelson said. “He was to me a singular force of nature; the very embodiment of cool…curating the soundtrack gave me a chance to delve even deeper into his archive so that both diehard fans and his new listeners could discover something new.”
The documentary and soundtrack highlight Davis’ evolution throughout his career. The tracklist includes songs from three different decades. “Hail to the Real Chief” features an unreleased Davis studio performance, combined with music written by Lenny White. The track features a collection of Miles’ former band members.
Find “Hail to the Real Chief” on Davis’ website and on major streaming platforms.
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