Miles Ahead and Born to be Blue draw on the sacrifices professional musicians make for their art, and the consequences that result. Complaints could be lodged. But for the sake of jazz, both are worth discussing.
Phil Dunlap is a professional jazz musician and director of educational programs for Jazz St. Louis, a local nonprofit dedicated to the preservation and performance of jazz music.
Posts by Phil Dunlap
The real Elvis is American, remember, and America is a consumer society. The desires we project, the stuff we buy—that is what feels real to us. It lets us have any Elvis we want. He left plenty of kitsch in his wake, plenty of pseudo-religion, plenty of Elvis jokes—but he was not, is not, a joke. He lived our contradictions, released our inhibitions, and lost himself in the process.