Miles Davis (by way of Don Cheadle) isn’t the only jazz trumpeter making his way to the big screen this year. In the first Born to Be Blue trailer, Ethan Hawke brings to life “the James Dean of jazz,” Chet Baker, on the silver screen. Robert Budreau (That Beautiful Somewhere) helms his second feature film about the musician’s tumultuous relationship with his music and the other jazz icons in the Birdland circuit.
For Baker, the trumpet was his whole world, so when he loses his teeth after a fight, thereby losing his abilities to play the instrument, he loses a part of himself. Born to Be Blue spotlights the moments in his life when he fights to come back into the jazz scene. Watch the trailer below:
The trailer also features other jazz icons of the age Dizzy Gillespie (Kevin Hanchard) and Davis (Kedar Brown), who seem unimpressed with Baker’s stylings at Birdland. Known for his West Coast style of jazz, Baker is instructed to go back to California and live more before trying to play this music. Then again, struggling with heroin seems to be living a bit too much.
While the trailer is interesting enough, especially for fans of jazz, biopics, and Hawke, Born to Be Blue might find it struggling against the more hyped Miles Ahead. Both are very similar in subject and genre, but Cheadle’s performance has been buzzed about from earlier in the film festival circuit — and he even learned how to play trumpet for the role. Born to Be Blue, also featuring Camen Ejogo and Callum Keith Rennie, will hit theaters on March 25th and VOD on March 31st, which is a little too close for comfort to Miles Ahead’s April 1st debut.
Here’s the official synopsis:
Ethan Hawke lights up the screen as jazz legend Chet Baker, whose tumultuous life is thrillingly reimagined with wit, verve, and style to burn. In the 1950s, Baker was one of the most famous trumpeters in the world, renowned as both a pioneer of the West Coast jazz scene and an icon of cool. By the 1960s, he was all but washed up, his career and personal life in shambles due to years of heroin addiction. In his innovative anti-biopic, director Robert Budreau zeroes in on Baker’s life at a key moment in the 1960s, just as the musician attempts to stage a hard-fought comeback, spurred in part by a passionate romance with a new flame (Camen Ejogo). Creatively blending fact with fiction and driven by Hawke’s virtuoso performance, BORN TO BE BLUE unfolds with all the stylistic brio and improvisatory genius of great jazz.