Our guest for this episode is actor, producer, author and humanitarian Don Cheadle. Cheadle recently took two simultaneous giant steps; the first in his debut directorial role in a movie and the second where he stars as Miles Davis in that movie. For this role, Cheadle studied Miles while also learning to play the trumpet and admits that the opportunity to be on the same stage with Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Robert Glasper, Antonio Sanchez and Esperanza Spalding in the final minutes of the movie was a dream come true and a path that he even half jokes about giving up his day gig for. The movie Miles Ahead—a name borrowed from Miles’ 1957 classic album—takes place during Davis’ darkest years and Cheadle takes liberty to juxtapose facts with fiction playing Miles to perfection as if Miles Davis is starring as Miles Davis in the movie. Mirroring Davis’ own rebellious nature, Miles Ahead strays far from the constraints of a traditional biopic — which has disappointed more than one critic. Still, the movie stands as perhaps Cheadle’s most ambitious achievement to date, and a film that Miles fans—old and new—will enjoy.
intro: Kickin’ it – Jeff Lorber