Vince Wilburn Jr. On ‘Miles Ahead’ And His Uncle Miles Davis [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO]
Vince Wilburn Jr., Miles Davis’s nephew, believes that the newest biopic about the late blues musician, Miles Ahead, gives Davis’ complicated story a bright ending.
Vince Wilburn Jr. On ‘Miles Ahead’
Miles Ahead, starring Don Cheadle as Davis, picks up in the midst of the musician’s retirement in the 70s, and follows him as he finds his way back to music. The movie doesn’t avoid the darker aspects of the life that Davis lived, and Wilburn is okay with that.
“He lived the way he lived,” Wilburn told uInterview in an exclusive interview. “My other uncle, uncle Vernon, Miles’ younger brother, who’s since passed away, said my uncle wasn’t an angel.”
“The brighter side of the movie was the outcome at the end,” Wilburn explained of his favorite scene in the movie. “The end and he comes out with Herbie [Hancock] and Wayne [Shorter] and stellar musicians and the music and the art, the backdrop that he created.”
Wilburn remembers first watching his Uncle Miles play at the Auditorium Theater in the Southside of Chicago, standing in the wings in awe of his mastery of the trumpet.
“He was like my superhero at a young age until he passed away,” Wilburn said. “And that’s how I’ll always remember him.”
Years later, it would be Davis who would be listening intently as Wilburn played with his own band. While Wilburn is reluctant to take full credit for being the reason Davis started playing again, he admits that his music may have been part of his inspiration.
“My uncle used to call my Mom and have my Mom come down to the basement where we rehearsed and put the phone down. And one day he just said, ‘You guys want to come to New York and make a record?’” Wilburn said. “We said yes and that record was Man With the Horn.”
Miles Ahead is currently in limited release
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It was a retirement period, where he said he didn’t have anything to say and that’s what interested Don [Cheadle] and the writer Steven Baigelman. Instead of doing a biopic, he wanted to focus on the retirement period of uncle Miles’ life in the ‘70s. That’s where he started. That’s where Don started the movie.
Not really, I mean the brighter side of the movie was the outcome at the end. He lived the way he lived. My other uncle, uncle Vernon, Miles’ younger brother, who’s since passed away, said my uncle wasn’t an angel. So that’s how I look at it.
The end, the band. The end and he comes out with Herbie and Wayne and stellar musicians and the music and the art, the backdrop that he created. That did it for me.
Southside of Chicago where I grew up. My uncle used to come and play. I remember, maybe the Auditorium Theater, I’m standing on the side of the stage in the wings and just fixated on the drummer and my uncle. The spotlight on him and that muted trumpet. He was like my superhero at a young age until he passed away and that’s how I’ll always remember him.
We had a band in Chicago and my uncle used to call my Mom and have my Mom come down to the basement where we rehearsed and put the phone down. He would do this like every other day because we rehearsed five days a week. And one day he just said, ‘You guys want to come to New York and make a record?’ We said yes and that record was “Man With the Horn.”
But, you gotta know, when he was ready to come back that’s when he came back. We just had maybe a smidgeon of a push to have him play again.
When I played drums with him going on tour and watching how he had this thing, this power over the audiences and how it was so quiet, especially when — the second number was the blues and it seemed like you could hear a pin drop, and that muted trumpet, is something that will live with me for the rest of my life.
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