Davis photographed in his New York City home by Tom Palumbo, c. 1955–1956
|Birth name||Miles Dewey Davis III|
|Born||May 26, 1926|
Alton, Illinois, U.S.
|Died||September 28, 1991 65) (aged|
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Miles Dewey Davis III (May 26, 1926 –September 28, 1991) was an American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, and composer. He is among the most influential and acclaimed figures in the history of jazz and 20th century music. Davis adopted a variety of musical directions in a five-decade career that kept him at the forefront of many major stylistic developments in jazz.
A trumpet is a brass instrument commonly used in classical and jazz ensembles. The trumpet group contains the instruments with the highest register in the brass family. Trumpet-like instruments have historically been used as signaling devices in battle or hunting, with examples dating back to at least 1500 BC; they began to be used as musical instruments only in the late 14th or early 15th century. Trumpets are used in art music styles, for instance in orchestras, concert bands, and jazz ensembles, as well as in popular music. They are played by blowing air through nearly-closed lips, producing a "buzzing" sound that starts a standing wave vibration in the air column inside the instrument. Since the late 15th century they have primarily been constructed of brass tubing, usually bent twice into a rounded rectangular shape.
Born and raised in Illinois, Davis left to study at the Juilliard School in New York City, before dropping out and making his professional debut as a member of saxophonist Charlie Parker's bebop quintet from 1944 to 1948. Shortly after, he recorded the Birth of the Cool sessions for Capitol Records, which were instrumental to the development of cool jazz. In the early 1950s, Miles Davis recorded some of the earliest hard bop music while on Prestige Records but did so haphazardly due to a heroin addiction. After a widely acclaimed comeback performance at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1955, he signed a long-term contract with Columbia Records and recorded the 1957 album 'Round About Midnight .It was his first work with saxophonist John Coltrane and bassist Paul Chambers, key members of the sextet he led into the early 1960s. During this period, he alternated between orchestral jazz collaborations with arranger Gil Evans, such as the Spanish-influenced Sketches of Spain (1960), and band recordings, such as Milestones (1958) and Kind of Blue (1959). The latter recording remains one of the most popular jazz albums of all time, having sold over four million copies in the U.S.
Illinois is a state in the Midwestern and Great Lakes regions of the United States. It has the fifth largest gross domestic product (GDP), the sixth largest population, and the 25th largest land area of all U.S. states. Illinois has been noted as a microcosm of the entire United States. With Chicago in northeastern Illinois, small industrial cities and immense agricultural productivity in the north and center of the state, and natural resources such as coal, timber, and petroleum in the south, Illinois has a diverse economic base, and is a major transportation hub. Chicagoland, Chicago's metropolitan area, encompasses over 65% of the state's population. The Port of Chicago connects the state to international ports via two main routes: from the Great Lakes, via the Saint Lawrence Seaway, to the Atlantic Ocean and from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River, via the Illinois Waterway to the Illinois River. The Mississippi River, the Ohio River, and the Wabash River form parts of the boundaries of Illinois. For decades, Chicago's O'Hare International Airport has been ranked as one of the world's busiest airports. Illinois has long had a reputation as a bellwether both in social and cultural terms and, through the 1980s, in politics.
The Juilliard School is a performing arts conservatory located in the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, New York City. Established in 1905, the school trains about 850 undergraduate and graduate students in dance, drama, and music. It is widely regarded as one of the world's leading drama, music and dance schools, with some of the most prestigious arts programs.
The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2018 population of 8,398,748 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 19,979,477 people in its 2018 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 22,679,948 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.
Davis made several line-up changes while recording Someday My Prince Will Come (1961), his 1961 Blackhawk concerts, and Seven Steps to Heaven (1963), another mainstream success that introduced bassist Ron Carter, pianist Herbie Hancock, and drummer Tony Williams.After adding saxophonist Wayne Shorter to his new quintet in 1964, Davis led them on a series of more abstract recordings often composed by the band members, helping pioneer the post-bop genre with albums such as E.S.P (1965) and Miles Smiles (1967), before transitioning into his electric period. During the 1970s, he experimented with rock, funk, African rhythms, emerging electronic music technology, and an ever-changing line-up of musicians, including keyboardist Joe Zawinul, drummer Al Foster, and guitarist John McLaughlin. This period, beginning with Davis' 1969 studio album In a Silent Way and concluding with the 1975 concert recording Agharta , was the most controversial in his career, alienating and challenging many in jazz. His million-selling 1970 record Bitches Brew helped spark a resurgence in the genre's commercial popularity with jazz fusion as the decade progressed.
Someday My Prince Will Come is the seventh studio album by Miles Davis for Columbia Records, catalogue CL 1656 and CS 8456 in stereo, released in 1961. Recorded at Columbia's 30th Street Studio in Manhattan, it marked the only Miles Davis Quintet studio recording session to feature saxophonist Hank Mobley.
In Person Friday and Saturday Nights at the Blackhawk, Complete, also called The Complete Blackhawk, is a 2003 four-disc collection of the 1961 live performances of the Miles Davis Quintet at the Black Hawk nightclub in San Francisco. These sets, performed with recording in mind, forged new ground for jazz musician Miles Davis, who had never previously been recorded live in a club with his combo. Material from the four sets was first released simultaneously by Columbia Records on two albums in September 1961, titled In Person Friday Night at the Blackhawk, San Francisco, Volume 1 and In Person Saturday Night at the Blackhawk, San Francisco, Volume 2. Although those albums were subsequently rereleased several times, the complete sets were not commercially available until Sony Records realised a digital mastering of this collection. Simultaneous to this release, the material was made available as two separate double-albums, entitled Friday Night: In Person at the Blackhawk in San Francisco, Complete and Saturday Night: In Person at the Blackhawk in San Francisco, Complete.
Seven Steps to Heaven is the eighth studio album on Columbia Records by jazz musician Miles Davis, released in 1963, catalogue CL 2051 and CS 8851 in stereo. Recorded at Columbia's 30th Street Studios in Manhattan, and at Columbia Studios in Los Angeles, it presents the Miles Davis Quintet in transition.
After a five-year retirement due to poor health, Davis resumed his career in the 1980s, employing younger musicians and pop sounds on albums such as The Man with the Horn (1981) and Tutu (1986). Critics were generally unreceptive but the decade garnered the trumpeter his highest level of commercial recognition. He performed sold-out concerts worldwide while branching out into visual arts, film, and television work, before his death in 1991 from the combined effects of a stroke, pneumonia and respiratory failure.In 2006, Davis was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which recognized him as "one of the key figures in the history of jazz." Rolling Stone described him as "the most revered jazz trumpeter of all time, not to mention one of the most important musicians of the 20th century," while Gerald Early called him inarguably one of the most influential and innovative musicians of that period.
Popular music is music with wide appeal that is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. These forms and styles can be enjoyed and performed by people with little or no musical training. It stands in contrast to both art music and traditional or "folk" music. Art music was historically disseminated through the performances of written music, although since the beginning of the recording industry, it is also disseminated through recordings. Traditional music forms such as early blues songs or hymns were passed along orally, or to smaller, local audiences.
The Man with the Horn is an album released by Miles Davis in 1981, featuring drummer Al Foster, saxophonist Bill Evans, guitarists Mike Stern and Barry Finnerty, and others. It was Davis's first new release since 1975, following a six-year reclusive retirement.
Tutu is an album by American jazz trumpeter Miles Davis, released in 1986 by Warner Bros. Records. It was recorded primarily at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles and Clinton Recording in New York, except the song "Backyard Ritual", which was recorded at Le Gonks in West Hollywood. Davis received the 1987 Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Soloist Grammy Award for his performance on the album.
Miles Dewey Davis III was born on May 26, 1926, to an affluent African-American family in Alton, Illinois, fifteen miles north of St. Louis.He had an older sister, Dorothy Mae (born 1925), and a younger brother, Vernon (born 1929). His mother, Cleota Mae Henry of Arkansas, was a music teacher and violinist, and his father, Miles Dewey Davis Jr., also of Arkansas, was a dentist. They owned a 200-acre estate near Pine Bluff, Arkansas with a profitable pig farm. In Pine Bluff, he and his siblings fished, hunted, and rode horses. In 1927, the family moved to East St. Louis, Illinois. They lived on the second floor of a commercial building behind a dental office in a predominantly white neighborhood. From 1932 to 1934, Davis attended John Robinson Elementary School, an all-black school, then Crispus Attucks, where he performed well in mathematics, music, and sports. At an early age he liked music, especially blues, big bands, and gospel.
Alton is a city on the Mississippi River in Madison County, Illinois, United States, about 15 miles (24 km) north of St. Louis, Missouri. The population was 27,865 at the 2010 census. It is a part of the Metro-East region of the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area. It is famous for its limestone bluffs along the river north of the city, for its role preceding and during the American Civil War, and as the home town of jazz musician Miles Davis and Robert Wadlow, the tallest known person in history. It was the site of the last Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas debate in October 1858. The former state penitentiary in Alton was used during the Civil War to hold up to 12,000 Confederate prisoners of war.
St. Louis is a major independent city and inland port in the U.S. state of Missouri. It is situated along the western bank of the Mississippi River, which marks Missouri's border with Illinois. The Missouri River merges with the Mississippi River just north of the city. These two rivers combined form the fourth longest river system in the world. The city had an estimated 2018 population of 302,838 and is the cultural and economic center of the St. Louis metropolitan area, which is the largest metropolitan area in Missouri, and the 20th-largest in the United States.
Arkansas is a state in the southern region of the United States, home to over 3 million people as of 2018. Its name is of Siouan derivation from the language of the Osage denoting their related kin, the Quapaw Indians. The state's diverse geography ranges from the mountainous regions of the Ozark and the Ouachita Mountains, which make up the U.S. Interior Highlands, to the densely forested land in the south known as the Arkansas Timberlands, to the eastern lowlands along the Mississippi River and the Arkansas Delta.
In 1935, Davis received his first trumpet as a gift from John Eubanks, a friend of his father.He took lessons from Elwood Buchanan, a teacher and musician who was a patient of his father. His mother wanted him to play violin instead. Against the fashion of the time, Buchanan stressed the importance of playing without vibrato and encouraged him to use a clear, mid-range tone. Davis said that whenever he started playing with heavy vibrato, Buchanan slapped his knuckles. In later years Davis said, "I prefer a round sound with no attitude in it, like a round voice with not too much tremolo and not too much bass. Just right in the middle. If I can't get that sound I can't play anything." In 1939, the family moved to 1701 Kansas Avenue in East St. Louis. On his thirteenth birthday his father bought him a new trumpet, and Davis began to play in local bands. He took additional trumpet lessons from Joseph Gustat, principal trumpeter of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.
Elwood C. Buchanan, Sr was an American jazz trumpeter and teacher who became an early mentor of Miles Davis.
Vibrato is a musical effect consisting of a regular, pulsating change of pitch. It is used to add expression to vocal and instrumental music. Vibrato is typically characterised in terms of two factors: the amount of pitch variation and the speed with which the pitch is varied.
The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra is an American symphony orchestra based in St. Louis, Missouri. Founded in 1880 by Joseph Otten as the St. Louis Choral Society, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra (SLSO) is the second-oldest professional symphony orchestra in the United States, preceded only by the New York Philharmonic. Its principal concert venue is Powell Hall, located in midtown St. Louis.
In 1941, the 15-year-old attended East St. Louis Lincoln High School, where he joined the marching band directed by Buchanan and entered music competitions. Years later, Davis said that if he lost a contest, it was because of racism, but he added that these experiences made him a better musician.When a drummer asked him to play a certain passage of music, and he couldn't do it, he began to learn music theory. "I went and got everything, every book I could get to learn about theory." At Lincoln, Davis met his first girlfriend, Irene Birth (later Cawthon). He had a band that performed at the Elks Club. Part of his earnings paid for his sister's education at Fisk University. Davis befriended trumpeter Clark Terry, who suggested he play without vibrato, and performed with him for several years.
With encouragement from his teacher and girlfriend, Davis filled a vacant spot in the Rhumboogie Orchestra, also known as the Blue Devils, led by Eddie Randle. He became the band's musical director, which involved hiring musicians and scheduling rehearsal.Years later, Davis considered this job one of the most important of his career. Sonny Stitt tried to persuade him to join the Tiny Bradshaw band, which was passing through town, but his mother insisted he finish high school before going on tour. He said later, "I didn't talk to her for two weeks. And I didn't go with the band either." In January 1944, Davis finished high school and graduated in absentia in June. During the next month, his girlfriend gave birth to a daughter, Cheryl.
In July 1944, Billy Eckstine visited St. Louis with a band that included Art Blakey, Dizzy Gillespie, and Charlie Parker. Trumpeter Buddy Anderson was too sick to perform,so Davis was invited to join. He played with the band for two weeks at Club Riviera. After playing with these musicians, he was certain he should move to New York City "where the action was." His mother wanted him to go to Fisk University, like his sister, and study piano or violin. Davis had other interests.
In September 1944, Davis accepted his father's idea of studying at the Institute of Musical Arts, later known as the Juilliard School, in New York City.After passing the audition, he attended classes in music theory, piano, and dictation.
But he spent much of his time in clubs looking for his idol, Charlie Parker. According to Davis, Coleman Hawkins told him "finish your studies at Juilliard and forget Bird."After finding Parker, he became one of a cadre of regulars at Minton's and Monroe's in Harlem who held jam sessions every night. The other regulars included J. J. Johnson, Kenny Clarke, Thelonious Monk, Fats Navarro, and Freddie Webster. Davis reunited with Cawthon and their daughter when they moved to New York City. Parker became a roommate.
In mid-1945, Davis failed to register for the year's autumn term at Juilliard and dropped out after three semestersbecause he wanted to perform full-time. Years later he criticized Juilliard for concentrating too much on classical European and "white" repertoire, but he praised the school for teaching him music theory and improving his trumpet technique.
He began performing at clubs on 52nd Street with Coleman Hawkins and Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis. He recorded for the first time on April 24, 1945 when he entered the studio as a sideman for Herbie Fields's band.During the next year, he recorded as a leader for the first time with the Miles Davis Sextet plus Earl Coleman and Ann Hathaway, one of the few times he accompanied a singer.
In 1945, he replaced Dizzy Gillespie in Charlie Parker's quintet. On November 26, Davis participated in several recording sessions as part of Parker's group Reboppers that also involved Gillespie and Max Roach,displaying hints of the style he would become known for. In Parker's song "Now's the Time", Davis played a solo that anticipated cool jazz. He then joined a big band led by Benny Carter, performing in St. Louis and remaining with the band in California. He again played with Parker and Gillespie. In Los Angeles, Parker had a nervous breakdown that put him in the hospital for several months. In March 1946, Davis played in studio sessions with Parker and began a collaboration with bassist Charles Mingus that summer. Cawthon gave birth to Davis's second child, Gregory, in East St. Louis before reuniting with Davis in New York City the following year. Davis noted that by this time, "I was still so much into the music that I was even ignoring Irene." He had also turned to alcohol and cocaine.
He was a member of Billy Eckstine's big band in 1946 and Gillespie's in 1947.He joined a quintet led by Parker that also included Max Roach. Together they performed live with Duke Jordan and Tommy Potter for much of the year, including several studio sessions. In one session that May, Davis wrote the tune "Cheryl", named after his daughter. Davis's first session as a leader followed in August 1947, playing as the Miles Davis All Stars that included Parker, pianist John Lewis, and bassist Nelson Boyd; they recorded "Milestones", "Half Nelson", and "Sippin' at Bells". After touring Chicago and Detroit with Parker's quintet, Davis returned to New York City in March 1948 and joined the Jazz at the Philharmonic tour, which included a stop in St. Louis on April 30.
In August 1948, Davis declined an offer to join Duke Ellington's orchestra as he had entered rehearsals with a nine-piece band with pianist and arranger Gil Evans and baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan, taking an active role on what soon became his own project.Evans' Manhattan apartment had become the meeting place for several young musicians and composers such as Davis, Roach, Lewis, and Mulligan who were unhappy with the increasingly virtuoso instrumental techniques that dominated bebop. These gatherings led to the formation of the Miles Davis Nonet, which included the unusual additions of French horn and tuba. The intent was to imitate the human voice through carefully arranged compositions and a relaxed, melodic approach to improvisation. In September, the band completed their sole engagement as the opening band for Count Basie at the Royal Roost for two weeks. Davis had to persuade the venue's manager to write the sign "Miles Davis Nonet. Arrangements by Gil Evans, John Lewis and Gerry Mulligan." He prevailed only with the help of Monte Kay, the club's artistic director. Davis returned to Parker's quintet, but relationships within the quintet were growing tense mainly due to Parker's erratic behavior caused by his drug addiction. Early in his time with Parker, Davis abstained from drugs, ate a vegetarian diet, and spoke of the benefits of water and juice. Davis and Roach objected to the addition of pianist Duke Jordan, preferring Bud Powell.
In December 1948 Davis quit,claiming he was not being paid. His departure began a period when he worked mainly as a freelancer and sideman. His nonet remained active until the end of 1949. After signing a contract with Capitol Records, they recorded sessions in January and April 1949, which sold little but influenced the "cool" or "west coast" style of jazz. The line-up changed throughout the year and included the additions of tuba player Bill Barber, alto saxophonist Lee Konitz, who had been preferred to Sonny Stitt as his style was considered too bop-oriented, pianist Al Haig, trombone players Mike Zwerin with Kai Winding, French horn players Junior Collins with Sandy Siegelstein and Gunther Schuller, and bassists Al McKibbon and Joe Shulman. One track featured singer Kenny Hagood. The presence of white musicians in the group angered some black players, many of whom were unemployed at the time, yet Davis rebuffed their criticisms. Recording sessions with the nonet for Capitol continued until April 1950; much of it remained unreleased until the issue of Birth of the Cool (1957).
In May 1949, Davis performed with the Tadd Dameron Quintet with Kenny Clarke and James Moody at the Paris International Jazz Festival. On his first trip abroad Davis took a strong liking for Paris and its cultural environment, where he felt black jazz musicians and people of color in general were better respected than in America. The trip, he said, "changed the way I looked at things forever."He began an affair with singer and actress Juliette Gréco that lasted for several years.
After returning from Paris in mid-1949, he became depressed and found little work, which included a short engagement with Powell in October and guest spots in New York City, Chicago, and Detroit until January 1950.He was falling behind in hotel rent and attempts were made to repossess his car. His heroin use became an expensive addiction, and Davis, yet to reach 24 years old, "lost my sense of discipline, lost my sense of control over my life, and started to drift." In August 1950, during a family trip to East St. Louis and Chicago in an attempt to improve their fortunes, Cawthon gave birth to Davis's second son, Miles IV. Davis befriended boxer Johnny Bratton and began his interest in the sport. Davis left Cawthon and his three children in New York City in the hands of a friend, jazz singer Betty Carter. He remained grateful to her for the rest of his life. He toured with Eckstine and Billie Holiday and was arrested for heroin possession in Los Angeles. The story was reported in DownBeat magazine, which caused a further reduction in work, though he was acquitted weeks later.
In January 1951, Davis's fortunes improved when he signed a one-year contract with Prestige after owner Bob Weinstock became a fan of the nonetDavis chose Lewis, trombonist Bennie Green, bassist Percy Heath, saxophonist Sonny Rollins, and drummer Roy Haynes; they recorded what became part of Miles Davis and Horns (1956). Davis was hired for other studio dates in March, June, and September 1951 and started transcribing scores for record labels to fund his heroin addiction. During the next month, he recorded his second session for Prestige as band leader. The material was released on The New Sounds (1951), Dig (1956), and Conception (1956).
Davis supported his heroin habit by playing music and by living the life of a hustler, exploiting prostitutes, and receiving money from friends. By 1953, his addiction began to impair his playing. His drug habit became public in a Down Beat interview with Cab Calloway, whom he never forgave as it brought him "all pain and suffering."He returned to St. Louis and stayed with his father for several months. Though he continued to use heroin, he met Roach and Mingus in September 1953 on their way to Los Angeles and joined their band, but the trip caused problems. He returned to his father's home, "determined to kick my habit ... that was the only thing on my mind." He locked himself inside the guest house "for about seven or eight days" until he had gone through withdrawal. After the ordeal, he "sat down and started thinking about how I was going to get my life back together."
Davis lived in Detroit for about six months, avoiding New York City where it was easy to get drugs. Though he used heroin, he was still able to perform locally with Elvin Jones and Tommy Flanagan as part of Billy Mitchell's house band at the Blue Bird club. He was also "pimping a little."A widely related story, attributed to Richard "Prophet" Jennings, was that Davis stumbled into Baker's Keyboard Lounge out of the rain, carrying his trumpet in a paper bag under his coat. He walked to the bandstand, interrupted Roach and Clifford Brown in the middle of performing "Sweet Georgia Brown", and played "My Funny Valentine" before leaving. Davis was supposedly embarrassed into getting clean by this incident. He disputed this account, stating that Roach had invited him to play and that his decision to quit heroin was unrelated to the incident. He said he was inspired to quit by his idol, boxer Sugar Ray Robinson.
In February 1954 Davis returned to New York City, feeling good "for the first time in a long time," mentally and physically stronger, and joined a gym. 6,997 in 2018 dollars ) for each album and refused to give away his publishing rights.He informed Weinstock and management at Blue Note that he was ready to record with a quintet, which he was granted. He considered the resulting albums Miles Davis Quartet (1954) and Miles Davis Volume 2 (1956) "very important" because he felt his performances were particularly strong. He was paid roughly $750 (US$
Davis abandoned the bebop style and turned to the music of pianist Ahmad Jamal, whose approach and use of space influenced him.When he returned to the studio in June 1955 to record Miles Davis Quartet, he wanted a pianist like Jamal and picked Red Garland. Blue Haze (1956), Bags' Groove (1957), Walkin' (1957), and Miles Davis and the Modern Jazz Giants (1959) were recorded after his recovery from heroin addiction. They documented the evolution of his sound with the Harmon mute, also known as a wah-wah mute, placed close to the microphone, and the use of more spacious and relaxed phrasing. He assumed a central role in hard bop, which was slower than bebop, less radical in harmony and melody, and often used popular songs and American standards as starting points for improvisation. Hard bop distanced itself from cool jazz with a harder beat and music inspired by the blues. A few critics consider Walkin' (1957) the album that created the hard bop genre.
Davis gained a reputation for being cold, distant—and easily angered. He wrote that in 1954 Sugar Ray Robinson "was the most important thing in my life besides music" and adopted Robinson's "arrogant attitude."He showed contempt for critics and the press. There were well-publicized confrontations with the public and with other musicians. An argument with Thelonious Monk during the recording of Bags' Groove was reported. In mid-1954, Davis reunited with Gréco for the first time since 1949 after she arrived in New York City for film prospects. The two had been in occasional contact since he left Paris. Though he was too busy to move to Spain with her, they "remained lovers for many years.
Davis had an operation to remove polyps from his larynx in October 1955.The doctors told him to remain silent after the operation—but he got into an argument that permanently damaged his vocal cords and gave him a raspy voice for the rest of his life. He was called the "prince of darkness," adding a patina of mystery to his public persona.
In July 1955, Davis's fortunes improved considerably when he was invited to the second annual Newport Jazz Festival on July 17, with a line-up of Monk, Heath, drummer Connie Kay, and horn players Zoot Sims and Gerry Mulligan. He convinced organizer George Wein that he should be on the bill, and Wein agreed.The performance was praised by critics and increased his popularity among affluent white audiences. He tied with Dizzy Gillespie for best trumpeter in the 1955 Down Beat magazine Readers' Poll.
George Avakian of Columbia Records saw Davis perform at Newport and wanted to sign him to the label. Davis had one year left on his contract with Prestige, which required him to release four more albums. He signed a contract with Columbia that included a $4,000 advance (US$37,411 in 2018 dollars ) and a condition that his recordings for Columbia would remain unreleased until his agreement with Prestige expired.
At the request of Avakian, he formed the Miles Davis Quintet for a performance at Café Bohemia. The quintet consisted of Davis on trumpet, Sonny Rollins on tenor saxophone, Red Garland on piano, Paul Chambers on double bass, and Philly Joe Jones on drums. Rollins was replaced by John Coltrane, completing the membership of the first quintet. This group appeared on his final albums for Prestige: Cookin' with the Miles Davis Quintet (1957), Relaxin' with the Miles Davis Quintet (1958), Workin' with the Miles Davis Quintet (1959), and Steamin' with the Miles Davis Quintet (1961). Each album helped establish Davis's quintet as one of the best.
The style of the group was an extension of their experience playing with Davis. He played long, legato, melodic lines, while Coltrane contrasted with energetic solos. Their live repertoire was a mix of bebop, standards from the Great American Songbook and pre-bop eras, and traditional tunes. They appeared on 'Round About Midnight , Davis's first album for Columbia.
In 1956, he left his quintet temporarily to tour Europe as part of the Birdland All-Stars, which included the Modern Jazz Quartet and French and German musicians. In Paris he reunited with Greco for the first time since 1949.He then returned home, reunited his quintet and toured the US for two months. Conflict arose on tour as he grew impatient with the drug habits of Jones and Coltrane. Davis was trying to live a healthier life by exercising and reducing his alcohol. But he continued to use cocaine. At the end of the tour, he fired Jones and Coltrane and replaced them with Sonny Rollins and Art Taylor.
In November 1957, Davis went to Paris and recorded the soundtrack to Ascenseur pour l'échafauddirected by Louis Malle (1958). Consisting of French session musicians Barney Wilen, Pierre Michelot, and René Urtreger, and American drummer Kenny Clarke, the group avoided a written score and instead improvised while they watched the film in a recording studio.
After returning to New York City, Davis revived his quintet with Adderleyand Coltrane, who was clean from his drug habit. Now a sextet, the group recorded material in early 1958 that was released on Milestones (1958), an album that demonstrated Davis's interest in modal jazz. A performance by Les Ballets Africains drew him to slower, deliberate music that allowed the creation of solos from harmony rather than chords. In this form of ballet music, the kalimba was played for a long periods on a single chord, weaving in and out of consonance and dissonance.
By May 1958, he had replaced Jones with drummer Jimmy Cobb, and Red Garland left the group, leaving Davis to play piano on "Sid's Ahead" for the album Milestones.He wanted someone who could play modal jazz, so he hired Bill Evans, a young, white pianist with a background in classical music. Evans had an impressionistic approach to piano. His ideas greatly influenced Davis. But after eight months of touring, a tired Evans left. Wynton Kelly, his replacement, brought to the group a swinging style that contrasted with Evans's delicacy. The sextet made their recording debut on Jazz Track (1958).
By early 1957, Davis was exhausted from recording and touring with his quintet and wished to pursue new projects. During a two-week residency in Chicago in March, the 30-year-old Davis told journalists of his intention to retire at its conclusion and revealed offers he had received to become a teacher at Harvard University and a musical director at a record label.Avakian agreed that it was time for Davis to explore something different, but Davis rejected his suggestion of returning to his nonet as he considered that a step backward. Avakian then suggested that he work with a bigger ensemble, similar to Music for Brass (1957), an album of orchestral and brass-arranged music led by Gunther Schuller featuring Davis as a guest soloist.
Davis accepted and worked with Gil Evans in what became a five-album collaboration from 1957 to 1962.Miles Ahead (1957) showcased Davis playing a flugelhorn and a rendition "The Maids of Cadiz" by Léo Delibes, the first piece of classical music that Davis recorded. Evans devised orchestral passages as transitions, thus turning the album into one long piece of music. Porgy and Bess (1959) includes arrangements of pieces from George Gershwin's opera. Sketches of Spain (1960) contained music by composers Joaquín Rodrigo and Manuel de Falla and originals by Evans. The classical musicians had trouble improvising, while the jazz musicians couldn't handle the difficult arrangements, but the album was a critical success, selling over 120,000 copies in the US. Davis performed with an orchestra conducted by Evans at Carnegie Hall in May 1961 to raise money for charity. The pair's final album was Quiet Nights (1962), a collection of bossa nova songs released against their wishes. Evans stated it was only half an album and blamed the record company; Davis blamed producer Teo Macero and refused to speak to him for more than two years. Davis noted later that "my best friend is Gil Evans"; their work was included in the boxed set Miles Davis & Gil Evans: The Complete Columbia Studio Recordings (1996), which won a Grammy Award for Best Historical Album and Best Album Notes in 1997.
In March and April 1959, Davis recorded what many critics consider his greatest album, Kind of Blue (1959). He named the album for its mood.He called back Bill Evans, as the music had been planned around Evans's piano style. Both Davis and Evans were familiar with George Russell's ideas about modal jazz. But Davis neglected to tell pianist Wynton Kelly that Evans was returning, so Kelly appeared on only one song, "Freddie Freeloader." The sextet had played "So What" and "All Blues" at performances, but the remaining three compositions they saw for the first time in the studio.
Released in August 1959, Kind of Blue was an instant success, with widespread radio airplay and rave reviews from critics.It remains the best selling jazz album of all time. In October 2008, the album reached 4× platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America for selling over four million copies in the US alone. In 2009, the US House of Representatives voted 409–0 to pass a resolution that honored it as a national treasure.
During the success of Kind of Blue, Davis found himself involved with the law. On August 25, 1959, during a recording session at the Birdland nightclub in New York City for the US Armed Services, he took a break outside the club. As he was escorting a blonde-haired woman to a taxi, policeman Gerald Kilduff told him to "move on." 4,512 in 2018 dollars ). By January 1960, he was acquitted of disorderly conduct and third-degree assault. He later stated the incident "changed my whole life and whole attitude again, made me feel bitter and cynical again when I was starting to feel good about the things that had changed in this country."Davis said that he was working at the club, and he refused to move. Kilduff arrested him and grabbed him as he tried to protect himself. Witnesses said the policeman punched Davis in the stomach with a nightstick without provocation. Two detectives held the crowd back, while a third approached Davis from behind and beat him in the head. Davis was taken to jail, charged for assaulting an officer, then taken to the hospital where he received five stitches. He was released on a $525 bail (US$
Davis and his sextet toured to support Kind of Blue.He persuaded Coltrane to play with the group on one final European tour in the spring of 1960. Coltrane then departed to form his quartet, though he returned for some tracks on Davis's album Someday My Prince Will Come (1961). Its front cover shows a photograph of his wife, Frances Taylor, after Davis demanded that Columbia depict black women on his album covers. In early 1958, Davis began a relationship with Frances Taylor, a dancer he had met five years earlier in Los Angeles. They married on December 21, 1960. The relationship involved numerous incidents of Davis' domestic violence towards Taylor. He later wrote, "Every time I hit her, I felt bad because a lot of it really wasn't her fault but had to do with me being temperamental and jealous." One reason for his behavior was that in 1963 he had increased his use of alcohol and cocaine to reduce joint pain caused by sickle cell anemia. He hallucinated, "looking for this imaginary person" in his house while wielding a kitchen knife. About a week after the photograph for the album E.S.P. (1965) was taken, Taylor left him for the last time. They remained separated until their divorce in February 1968. Davis later recalled that "Frances was the best wife I ever had and I made a mistake when I broke up with her."
In December 1962, Davis, Kelly, Chambers, Cobb, and Rollins played together for the last time as the first three wanted to leave and play as a trio. Rollins left to join them soon after, leaving Davis to pay over $25,000 (US$207,068 in 2018 dollars ) to cancel upcoming gigs and quickly assemble a new group. Following auditions, he found his new band in tenor saxophonist George Coleman, bassist Ron Carter, pianist Victor Feldman, and drummer Frank Butler. By May 1963, Feldman and Butler were replaced by pianist Herbie Hancock and 17-year-old drummer Tony Williams who made Davis "excited all over again." With this group, Davis completed the rest of what became Seven Steps to Heaven (1963) and recorded the live albums Miles Davis in Europe (1964), My Funny Valentine (1965), and Four & More (1966). The quintet played essentially the same bebop tunes and standards that Davis's previous bands had played, but they approached them with structural and rhythmic freedom and occasionally breakneck speed.
In 1964, Coleman was replaced by saxophonist Sam Rivers until Davis persuaded Wayne Shorter to leave Art Blakey. This quintet lasted through 1968. Shorter became the group's principal composer, and the album E.S.P. (1965) was named after his composition. While touring Europe, the group made its first album, Miles in Berlin (1965).
Davis needed medical attention for hip pain, which had worsened since his Japanese tour during the previous year.He underwent hip replacement surgery in April 1965, with bone taken from his shin, but it failed. After his third month in the hospital, he discharged himself due to boredom and went home. He returned to the hospital in August after a fall required the insertion of a plastic hip joint. In November 1965, he had recovered enough to return to performing with his quintet, which included gigs at the Plugged Nickel in Chicago. Teo Macero returned as his engineer and record producer after their rift over Quiet Nights had healed.
In January 1966, Davis spent three months in the hospital due to a liver infection. When he resumed touring, he performed more at colleges because he had grown tired of the typical jazz venues.Columbia president Clive Davis noted that in 1966 his sales had declined to around 40,000–50,000 per album, compared to as many as 100,000 per release a few years before. Matters were not helped by the press reporting his apparent financial troubles and imminent demise. After his appearance at the 1966 Newport Jazz Festival, he returned to the studio with his quintet for a series of productive sessions. He started a relationship with actress Cicely Tyson, who helped him reduce his alcohol consumption.
Material from the 1966–1968 sessions was released on Miles Smiles (1966), Sorcerer (1967), Nefertiti (1967), Miles in the Sky (1968), and Filles de Kilimanjaro (1968). The quintet's approach to the new music became known as "time no changes"—which referred to Davis's decision to depart from chordal sequences and adopt a more open approach, with the rhythm section responding to the soloists' melodies.Through Nefertiti the studio recordings consisted primarily of originals composed by Shorter, with occasional compositions by the other sidemen. In 1967, the group began to play their concerts in continuous sets, each tune flowing into the next, with only the melody indicating any sort of change. His bands performed this way until his hiatus in 1975.
Miles in the Sky and Filles de Kilimanjaro—which tentatively introduced electric bass, electric piano, and electric guitar on some tracks—pointed the way to the fusion phase of Davis's career. He also began experimenting with more rock-oriented rhythms on these records. By the time the second half of Filles de Kilimanjaro was recorded, bassist Dave Holland and pianist Chick Corea had replaced Carter and Hancock. Davis soon took over the compositional duties of his sidemen.
In September 1968, Davis married 23-year-old model and songwriter Betty Mabry. In his autobiography, Davis described her as a "high-class groupie, who was very talented but who didn't believe in her own talent."Mabry, a familiar face in the New York City counterculture, helped introduce Davis to popular rock, soul, and funk musicians. Jazz critic Leonard Feather visited Davis's apartment and was shocked to find him listening to albums by The Byrds, Aretha Franklin, and Dionne Warwick. He also liked James Brown, Sly and the Family Stone, and Jimi Hendrix, whose group Band of Gypsys particularly made an impression on Davis. Davis filed for divorce from Mabry in 1969, after accusing her of having an affair with Jimi Hendrix.
In a Silent Way (1969) was recorded in a single studio session on February 18, 1969, with Shorter, Hancock, Holland, and Williams alongside keyboardists Chick Corea and Josef Zawinul and guitarist John McLaughlin. The album contains two side-long tracks that Macero pieced together from different takes recorded at the session. When the album was released in July 1969, some critics accused him of "selling out" to the rock and roll audience. Nevertheless, it reached number 134 on the US Billboard Top LPs chart, his first album since My Funny Valentine to reach the chart. In a Silent Way was his entry into jazz fusion. The touring band of 1969–1970—with Shorter, Corea, Holland, and DeJohnette—never completed a studio recording together, and became known as Davis's "lost quintet".
In October 1969, Davis was shot at five times while in his car with one of his two lovers, Marguerite Eskridge. The incident left him with a graze and Eskridge unharmed.In 1970, Marguerite gave birth to their son Erin.
For the double album Bitches Brew (1970), he hired Jack DeJohnette, Airto Moreira, and Bennie Maupin. The album contained long compositions, some over twenty minutes, that were never played in the studio but were constructed from several takes by Macero and Davis. Other studio techniques included splicing, multitrack recording, and tape loops.Bitches Brew peaked at No. 35 on the Billboard Album chart. In 1976 it was certified gold for selling over 500,000 records. By 2003, it had sold one million copies.
In March 1970, Davis began to perform as the opening act for various rock acts, allowing Columbia to market Bitches Brew to a larger audience. He was so offended by Clive Davis's suggestion to perform at the Fillmore East that he threatened to switch record labels, but he reconsidered and shared a bill with the Steve Miller Band and Neil Young with Crazy Horse on March 6 and 7.Biographer Paul Tingen wrote, "Miles's newcomer status in this environment" led to "mixed audience reactions, often having to play for dramatically reduced fees, and enduring the 'sell-out' accusations from the jazz world," as well as being "...attacked by sections of the black press for supposedly genuflecting to white culture." The 1970 tours included the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival on August 29 when he performed to an estimated 600,000 people, the largest of his career. Plans to record with Hendrix ended after the guitarist's death; his funeral was the last that Davis attended. Several live albums with a transitional sextet/septet including Corea, DeJohnette, Holland, Moreira, saxophonist Steve Grossman, and keyboardist Keith Jarrett were recorded during this period, including Miles Davis at Fillmore (1970) and Black Beauty: Miles Davis at Fillmore West (1973).
By 1971, Davis had signed a contract with Columbia that paid him $100,000 a year (US$618,652 in 2018 dollars ) for three years in addition to royalties. He recorded a soundtrack album (1971's Jack Johnson ) for the 1970 documentary film about heavyweight boxer Jack Johnson, containing two long pieces of 25 and 26 minutes in length with Hancock, McLaughlin, Sonny Sharrock, and Billy Cobham. He was committed to making music for African-Americans who liked more commercial, pop, groove-oriented music. By November 1971, DeJohnette and Moreira had been replaced in the touring ensemble by drummer Leon "Ndugu" Chancler and percussionists James Mtume and Don Alias. Live-Evil (1971) was released in the same month. Showcasing former Stevie Wonder touring bassist Michael Henderson, who replaced Holland in the autumn of 1970, the album demonstrated that Davis's ensemble had transformed into a funk-oriented group while retaining the exploratory imperative of Bitches Brew.
In 1972, composer-arranger Paul Buckmaster introduced Davis to the music of German avant-garde composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, leading to a period of creative exploration. Biographer J. K. Chambers wrote, "The effect of Davis' study of Stockhausen could not be repressed for long ... Davis' own 'space music' shows Stockhausen's influence compositionally."His recordings and performances during this period were described as "space music" by fans, Feather, and Buckmaster, who described it as "a lot of mood changes—heavy, dark, intense—definitely space music." The studio album On the Corner (1972) blended the influence of Stockhausen and Buckmaster with funk elements. Davis invited Buckmaster to New York City to oversee the writing and recording of the album with Macero. The album reached No. 1 on the Billboard jazz chart but peaked at No. 156 on the more heterogeneous Top 200 Albums chart. On the Corner elicited a favorable review from Ralph J. Gleason of Rolling Stone, but Davis felt that Columbia marketed it to the wrong audience. "The music was meant to be heard by young black people, but they just treated it like any other jazz album and advertised it that way, pushed it on the jazz radio stations. Young black kids don't listen to those stations; they listen to R&B stations and some rock stations." In October 1972, he broke his ankles in a car crash. He took painkillers and cocaine to cope with the pain. Looking back at his career after the incident, he wrote, "Everything started to blur."
After recording On the Corner, he assembled a group with Henderson, Mtume, Carlos Garnett, guitarist Reggie Lucas, organist Lonnie Liston Smith, tabla player Badal Roy, sitarist Khalil Balakrishna, and drummer Al Foster. Only Smith was a jazz instrumentalist; consequently, the music emphasized rhythmic density and shifting textures instead of solos. This group was recorded live for In Concert (1973), but Davis found it unsatisfactory, leading him to drop the tabla and sitar and play keyboards. He also added guitarist Pete Cosey. The compilation studio album Big Fun (1974) contains four long improvisations recorded between 1969 and 1972.
Studio activity in the 1970s culminated in sessions throughout 1973 and 1974 for Get Up with It (1974), a compilation that included four long pieces (comprising over ninety minutes of new music) alongside four shorter recordings from 1970 and 1972. The album contained "He Loved Him Madly", a thirty-minute tribute to the recently deceased Duke Ellington that presaged later developments in ambient music.In the United States, it performed comparably to On the Corner, reaching number 8 on the jazz chart and number 141 on the pop chart. He then concentrated on live performance with a series of concerts that Columbia released on the double live albums Agharta (1975), Pangaea (1976), and Dark Magus (1977). The first two are recordings of two sets from February 1, 1975 in Osaka, by which time Davis was troubled by pneumonia, osteoarthritis, sickle-cell anemia, depression, bursitis, and stomach ulcers; he relied on alcohol, codeine, and morphine to get through the engagements. His shows were routinely panned by critics who mentioned his habit of performing with his back to the audience. Cosey later asserted that "the band really advanced after the Japanese tour", but Davis was again hospitalized, for his ulcers and a hernia, during a tour of the US while opening for Herbie Hancock. Hancock had eclipsed his former employer from a commercial standpoint with Head Hunters (1973) and Thrust (1974), two albums that were marketed to pop audiences in the aftermath of the On the Corner farrago and peaked at number 13 on the Billboard pop chart.
After appearances at the 1975 Newport Jazz Festival in July and the Schaefer Music Festival in New York City on September 5, Davis dropped out of music.
In his autobiography, Davis wrote frankly about his life during his hiatus from music. He called his Upper West Side brownstone a wreck and chronicled his heavy use of alcohol and cocaine, in addition to his sexual encounters with many women.In December 1975, he had regained enough strength to undergo a much needed hip replacement operation. In March 1976, Rolling Stone reported rumors of his imminent demise, citing his health problems during the previous tour. In December 1976, Columbia was reluctant to renew his contract and pay his usual large advances. But after his lawyer started negotiating with United Artists, Columbia matched their offer, establishing the Miles Davis Fund to pay him regularly. Pianist Vladimir Horowitz was the only other musician with Columbia that had a similar status.
In 1978, Julie Coryell interviewed Davis. Concerned about his health, she had him stay with a friend in Norwalk, Connecticut. 38,413 in 2018 dollars ) for release on bail. A recording session that involved Buckmaster and Gil Evans was halted, with Evans leaving after failing to receive the payment he was promised. In August 1978, Davis hired a new manager, Mark Rothbaum, who had worked with him since 1972. Despite the dearth of new material, Davis placed in the Top 10 trumpeter poll of Down Beat magazine in 1979.Davis asked Coryell's husband, fusion guitarist Larry Coryell, to participate in sessions with keyboardists Masabumi Kikuchi and George Pavlis, bassist T. M. Stevens, and drummer Al Foster. Davis played the arranged piece uptempo, abandoned his trumpet for the organ, and had Macero record the session without the band's knowledge. After Coryell declined a spot in a band that Davis was beginning to put together, Davis returned to his reclusive lifestyle in New York City. Soon after, Marguerite Eskridge had Davis jailed for failing to pay child support to their son Erin, which cost him $10,000 (US$
By 1979, Davis had rekindled his relationship with actress Cicely Tyson, with whom he overcame his cocaine addiction and regained his enthusiasm for music. The two married on November 26, 1981, in a ceremony at Bill Cosby's home in Massachusetts that was officiated by politician and civil rights activist Andrew Young.Their tumultuous marriage ended with Tyson filing for divorce in 1988, which was finalized in 1989.
In October 1979, his contract with Columbia was up for negotiation. Label president Clive Davis was replaced by George Butler, who had visited Davis several times during the previous two years to encourage him to return to the studio. To help his situation, Davis had Buckmaster come over to collaborate on new music.After arriving, Buckmaster organized an intervention for Davis, who was living in squalor among cockroach infestations, in the dark with his curtains always closed. His sister Dorothy cleaned his house with help from Buckmaster, Tyson, and neighbor Chaka Khan. Davis later thanked Buckmaster for helping him.
Davis hadn't played the trumpet much for three years and found it difficult to reclaim his embouchure. His first post-hiatus studio appearance took place on May 1, 1980.A day later, Davis was hospitalized due to a leg infection. He recorded The Man with the Horn (1981) from June 1980 to May 1981 with Macero producing. A large band was abandoned in favor of a combo with saxophonist Bill Evans (not to be confused with pianist Bill Evans) and bassist Marcus Miller. Both would collaborate with him during the next decade.
The Man with the Horn received a poor critical reception despite selling well. In June 1981, Davis returned to the stage for the first time since 1975 in a ten-minute guest solo as part of Mel Lewis's band at the Village Vanguard.This was followed by appearances with a new band, a four-night run at Kix in Boston, and two shows at Avery Fisher Hall on July 5 as part of the Kool Jazz Festival. Recordings from a mixture of dates from 1981, including the Kix and Avery Fisher Hall gigs, were released on We Want Miles (1982), which earned him a Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance by a Soloist.
In January 1982, while Tyson was working in Africa, Davis "went a little wild" with alcohol, and suffered a stroke that temporarily paralyzed his right hand.Tyson returned home and cared for him. After three months of treatment with a Chinese acupuncturist, he was able to play the trumpet again. He listened to his doctor's warnings and gave up alcohol and drugs. He credited Tyson with helping his recovery, which involved exercise, piano playing, and visits to spas. She encouraged him to draw, which he pursued for the rest of his life.
Davis resumed touring in May 1982 with a line-up that included French percussionist Mino Cinelu and guitarist John Scofield, with whom he worked closely on the album Star People (1983). In mid-1983, he worked on the tracks for Decoy , an album mixing soul music and electronica that was released in 1984. He brought in producer, composer, and keyboardist Robert Irving III, who had collaborated with him on The Man with the Horn. With a seven-piece band that included Scofield, Evans, Irving, Foster, and Darryl Jones, he played a series of European performances that were positively received. In December 1984, while in Denmark, he was awarded the Léonie Sonning Music Prize. Trumpeter Palle Mikkelborg had written a contemporary classical piece titled "Aura" for the event which impressed Davis to the point of returning to Denmark in early 1985 to record his next studio album, Aura (1989).Columbia was dissatisfied with the recording and delayed its release.
In May 1985, one month into a tour, Davis signed a contract with Warner Bros. that required him to give up his publishing rights.Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis publicly dismissed his more recent fusion recordings as not being "'true' jazz." Davis shrugged off the comment, calling Marsalis "a nice young man, only confused." Marsalis appeared unannounced onstage during Davis's performance at the inaugural Vancouver International Jazz Festival in 1986. Marsalis whispered into Davis' ear that "someone" had told him to do so. Davis responded by ordering him off the stage. Davis had become increasingly irritated at Columbia's delay in releasing Aura. The breaking point appears to have come when a producer at Columbia asked him to call Marsalis and wish him a happy birthday. The tour in 1985 included a performance in London in July in which Davis performed on stage for five hours. Jazz critic John Fordham concluded, "The leader is clearly enjoying himself." By 1985, Davis was diabetic and required daily injections of insulin.
He released You're Under Arrest , his final album for Columbia, in September 1985. It included cover versions of two pop songs: "Time After Time" by Cyndi Lauper and "Human Nature" sung by Michael Jackson. He considered releasing an album of pop songs, and he recorded dozens of them, but the idea was rejected. He said that many of today's jazz standards had been pop songs in Broadway theater and that he was simply updating the standards repertoire.
Davis collaborated with a number of figures from the British post-punk and new wave movements during this period, including Scritti Politti.At the invitation of producer Bill Laswell, he recorded some trumpet parts during sessions for Public Image Ltd.'s Album , according to John Lydon in the liner notes of their Plastic Box box set. In Lydon's words, however, "Strangely enough, we didn't use [his contributions]." According to Lydon in the Plastic Box notes, Davis favorably compared Lydon's singing voice to his trumpet sound during these sessions.
After taking part in the recording of the 1985 protest song "Sun City" as a member of Artists United Against Apartheid, Davis appeared on the instrumental "Don't Stop Me Now" by Toto for their album Fahrenheit (1986). For his next studio album, he intended to collaborate with Prince, but the project was dropped.[ citation needed ] Davis also collaborated with Zane Giles and Randy Hall on the Rubberband sessions in 1985 but those would remain unreleased until 2019. Instead, he worked with Marcus Miller and Tutu (1986), became the first time he used modern studio tools such as programmed synthesizers, sampling, and drum loops. Released in September 1986, its front cover is a portrait of Davis by Irving Penn. In 1987, he won a Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Soloist.
In 1988, Davis had a small part as a street musician in the Christmas comedy film Scrooged starring Bill Murray. He also collaborated with Zucchero Fornaciari in a version of Dune Mosse ( Blue's ), published in 2004 in Zu & Co. of the Italian bluesman. In November 1988, he was inducted into the Knights of Malta at a ceremony at the Alhambra Palace in Spain (hence the "Sir" title on his gravestone).Later that month, Davis cut his European tour short after he collapsed and fainted after a two-hour show in Madrid and flew home. Rumors of his health were made public after the American magazine Star, in its February 21, 1989 edition, published that Davis had contracted AIDS, prompting his manager Peter Shukat to issue a statement the following day to deny the claim. Shukat revealed Davis had been in the hospital for a mild case of pneumonia and the removal of a benign polyp on his vocal cords and was resting comfortably in preparation for his 1989 tours. Davis later blamed one of his former wives or girlfriends for starting the rumor and decided against taking legal action. He was interviewed on 60 Minutes by Harry Reasoner. In October 1989, he received a Grande Medaille de Vermeil from Paris mayor Jacques Chirac. In 1990, he received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. In early 1991, he appeared in the Rolf de Heer film Dingo as a jazz musician.
Davis followed Tutu with Amandla (1989) and soundtracks to four films: Street Smart , Siesta , The Hot Spot , and Dingo. His last albums were released posthumously: the hip hop-influenced Doo-Bop (1992) and Miles & Quincy Live at Montreux (1993), a collaboration with Quincy Jones from the 1991 Montreux Jazz Festival where, for the first time in three decades, he performed songs from Miles Ahead, Porgy and Bess, and Sketches of Spain.
On July 8, 1991, Davis returned to performing material from his past at the 1991 Montreux Jazz Festival with a band and orchestra conducted by Quincy Jones.The set consisted of arrangements from his albums recorded with Gil Evans. The show was followed by a concert billed as "Miles and Friends" at the Grande halle de la Villette in Paris two days later, with guest performances by musicians from throughout his career, including John McLaughlin, Herbie Hancock, and Joe Zawinul. In Paris, he was awarded the Chevalier of the Legion of Honor. After returning to America, he stopped in New York City to record material for Doo-Bop, then returned to California to play at the Hollywood Bowl on August 25, his final live performance.
In early September 1991, Davis checked into St. John's Hospital near his home in Santa Monica, California, for routine tests.Doctors suggested he have a tracheal tube implanted to relieve his breathing after repeated bouts of bronchial pneumonia. The suggestion provoked an outburst from Davis that led to an intracerebral hemorrhage followed by a coma. After several days on life support, his machine was turned off and he died on September 28, 1991. He was 65 years old. His death was attributed to the combined effects of a stroke, pneumonia, and respiratory failure. According to Troupe, Davis was taking azidothymidine (AZT), a type of antiretroviral drug used for the treatment of HIV and AIDS, during his treatments in hospital. A funeral service was held on October 5, 1991, at St. Peter's Lutheran Church on Lexington Avenue in New York City that was attended by around 500 friends, family members, and musical acquaintances, with many fans standing in the rain. He was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in The Bronx, New York City, with one of his trumpets, near the site of Duke Ellington's grave.
Late in his life, from the "electric period" onwards, Davis repeatedly explained his reasons for not wishing to perform his earlier works, such as Birth of the Cool or Kind of Blue . In his view, remaining stylistically static was the wrong option. "'So What' or Kind of Blue, they were done in that era, the right hour, the right day, and it happened. It's over ... What I used to play with Bill Evans, all those different modes, and substitute chords, we had the energy then and we liked it. But I have no feel for it anymore, it's more like warmed-over turkey." When Shirley Horn insisted in 1990 that Miles reconsider playing the ballads and modal tunes of his Kind of Blue period, he demurred. "Nah, it hurts my lip" was the reason he gave. Bill Evans, who played piano on Kind of Blue, said, "I would like to hear more of the consummate melodic master, but I feel that big business and his record company have had a corrupting influence on his material. The rock and pop thing certainly draws a wider audience."He commented:
Miles Davis is considered one of the most innovative, influential, and respected figures in the history of music. The Guardian described him as "a pioneer of 20th-century music, leading many of the key developments in the world of jazz."He has been called "one of the great innovators in jazz", and had the titles Prince of Darkness and the Picasso of Jazz bestowed upon him. The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll said, "Miles Davis played a crucial and inevitably controversial role in every major development in jazz since the mid-'40s, and no other jazz musician has had so profound an effect on rock. Miles Davis was the most widely recognized jazz musician of his era, an outspoken social critic and an arbiter of style—in attitude and fashion—as well as music."
William Ruhlmann of AllMusic wrote, "To examine his career is to examine the history of jazz from the mid-1940s to the early 1990s, since he was in the thick of almost every important innovation and stylistic development in the music during that period ... It can even be argued that jazz stopped evolving when Davis wasn't there to push it forward." Music writer Christopher Smith wrote,
Miles Davis's artistic interest was in the creation and manipulation of ritual space, in which gestures could be endowed with symbolic power sufficient to form a functional communicative, and hence musical, vocabulary. ... Miles' performance tradition emphasized orality and the transmission of information and artistic insight from individual to individual. His position in that tradition, and his personality, talents, and artistic interests, impelled him to pursue a uniquely individual solution to the problems and the experiential possibilities of improvised performance.
His approach, owing largely to the African-American performance tradition that focused on individual expression, emphatic interaction, and creative response to shifting contents, had a profound impact on generations of jazz musicians.
Kind of Blue remains the best-selling jazz album of all time. On November 5, 2009, U.S. Representative John Conyers of Michigan sponsored a measure in the United States House of Representatives to commemorate the album on its 50th anniversary. The measure also affirms jazz as a national treasure and "encourages the United States government to preserve and advance the art form of jazz music."It passed with a vote of 409–0 on December 15, 2009. The trumpet Davis used on the recording is displayed on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. It was donated to the school by Arthur "Buddy" Gist, who met Davis in 1949 and became a close friend. The gift was the reason why the jazz program at UNCG is named the Miles Davis Jazz Studies Program.
In 1986, the New England Conservatory awarded Davis an honorary doctorate for his contributions to music.Since 1960 the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) honored him with eight Grammy Awards, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and three Grammy Hall of Fame Awards.
In 2001 a two-hour documentary film by Mike Dibb entitled The Miles Davis Story won an International Emmy Award for arts documentary of the year.
Miles Ahead was a 2015 American music film directed by Don Cheadle, co-written by Cheadle with Steven Baigelman, Stephen J. Rivele, and Christopher Wilkinson, which interprets the life and compositions of Davis. It premiered at the New York Film Festival in October 2015. The film stars Cheadle, Emayatzy Corinealdi as Frances Taylor, Ewan McGregor, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Lakeith Stanfield.
|1960||Best Jazz Composition of More Than Five Minutes Duration||Sketches of Spain|
|1970||Best Jazz Performance, Large Group or Soloist with Large Group||Bitches Brew|
|1982||Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Soloist||We Want Miles|
|1986||Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Soloist||Tutu|
|1989||Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Soloist||Aura|
|1989||Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Big Band||Aura|
|1990||Lifetime Achievement Award|
|1992||Best R&B Instrumental Performance||Doo-Bop|
|1993||Best Large Jazz Ensemble Performance||Miles & Quincy Live at Montreux|
|1955||Voted Best Trumpeter, Down Beat Readers' Poll|
|1957||Voted Best Trumpeter, Down Beat Readers' Poll|
|1961||Voted Best Trumpeter, Down Beat Readers' Poll|
|1984||Sonning Award for Lifetime Achievement in Music|
|1986||Doctor of Music, honoris causa , New England Conservatory|
|1988||Knight Hospitaller by the Order of St. John|
|1989||Governor's Award from the New York State Council on the Arts|
|1990||St. Louis Walk of Fame|
|1991||Australian Film Institute Award for Best Original Music Score for Dingo , shared with Michel Legrand|
|1991||Knight of the Legion of Honor|
|1998||Hollywood Walk of Fame|
|2006||Rock and Roll Hall of Fame|
|2008||Quadruple platinum certification for Kind of Blue|
|1958||Elevator to the Gallows||Yes||Yes||—||Described by critic Phil Johnson as "the loneliest trumpet sound you will ever hear, and the model for sad-core music ever since. Hear it and weep."|
|1970||Jack Johnson||Yes||Yes||Basis for the 1971 album Jack Johnson|
|1985||Miami Vice||Yes||Ivory Jones||TV series (1 episode – "Junk Love")|
|1986||Crime Story||Yes||Jazz musician||Cameo, TV series (1 episode – "The War")|
|1990||The Hot Spot||Yes||Composed by Jack Nitzsche, also featuring John Lee Hooker|
|1991||Dingo||Yes b||Yes||Yes||Billy Cross|
^a Only one song is composed by Miles Davis in cooperation with Marcus Miller ("Theme For Augustine").
^b Soundtrack is composed by Miles Davis in cooperation with Michel Legrand.
Julian Edwin "Cannonball" Adderley was an American jazz alto saxophonist of the hard bop era of the 1950s and 1960s.
Kind of Blue is a studio album by American jazz trumpeter Miles Davis. It was recorded on March 2 and April 22, 1959, at Columbia's 30th Street Studio in New York City, and released on August 17 of that year by Columbia Records. The album features Davis' ensemble sextet consisting of saxophonists John Coltrane and Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Jimmy Cobb, with former band pianist Bill Evans appearing on most of the tracks in place of Kelly. In part owing to Evans' joining the sextet during 1958, Davis followed up on the modal experimentation of Milestones by basing Kind of Blue entirely on modality, departing further from his earlier work's hard bop style of jazz.
Wayne Shorter is an American jazz saxophonist and composer.
Ian Ernest Gilmore Evans was a Canadian jazz pianist, arranger, composer and bandleader. He is widely recognized as one of the greatest orchestrators in jazz, playing an important role in the development of cool jazz, modal jazz, free jazz, and jazz fusion. He is best known for his acclaimed collaborations with Miles Davis.
Dave Holland is an English jazz double bassist, composer and bandleader who has been performing and recording for five decades. He has lived in the United States for over 40 years.
William McKinley "Red" Garland, Jr. was an American modern jazz pianist. Known for his work as a bandleader and during the 1950s with Miles Davis, Garland helped popularize the block chord style of piano playing.
Birth of the Cool is a compilation album by American jazz musician Miles Davis, released in 1957 on Capitol Records. It compiles eleven tracks recorded by Davis's nonet for the label over the course of three sessions during 1949 and 1950.
Wallace Roney is an American jazz trumpeter.
Filles de Kilimanjaro is a studio album by American jazz trumpeter Miles Davis. It was recorded in June and September 1968, and released on Columbia Records. It was released in the United Kingdom by the company's subsidiary Columbia (CBS) in 1968 and in the United States during February of 1969. The album is a transitional work for Davis, who was shifting stylistically from acoustic recordings with his second "great" quintet to his "electric" period. Filles de Kilimanjaro was well received by contemporary music critics, who viewed it as a significant release in modern jazz.
Wynton Charles Kelly was a Jamaican American jazz pianist and composer. He is known for his lively, blues-based playing and as one of the finest accompanists in jazz. He began playing professionally at the age of 12, and was pianist on a No. 1 R&B hit at the age of 16. His recording debut as leader occurred three years later, around the time he started to become better known as accompanist to singer Dinah Washington, and as a member of trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie's band. This progress was interrupted by two years in the United States Army, after which Kelly returned to Washington and Gillespie, and played with other leaders. Over the next few years, these included instrumentalists Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, John Coltrane, Roland Kirk, Wes Montgomery, and Sonny Rollins, and vocalists Betty Carter, Billie Holiday, and Abbey Lincoln.
In a Silent Way is a studio album by American jazz trumpeter, composer, and bandleader Miles Davis, released on July 30, 1969, on Columbia Records. Produced by Teo Macero, the album was recorded in one session date on February 18, 1969, at CBS 30th Street Studio in New York City. Incorporating elements of classical sonata form, Macero edited and arranged Davis's recordings from the session to produce the album. Marking the beginning of his "electric" period, In a Silent Way has been regarded by music writers as Davis's first fusion recording, following a stylistic shift toward the genre in his previous records and live performances.
Jack Johnson is a studio album and soundtrack by American jazz trumpeter, composer, and bandleader Miles Davis. It was released on February 24, 1971, by Columbia Records.
On the Corner is a studio album by American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, and composer Miles Davis. It was recorded in June and July 1972 and released on October 11 of the same year by Columbia Records. The album continued Davis's exploration of jazz fusion, bringing together funk rhythms with the influence of experimental composer Karlheinz Stockhausen and free jazz saxophonist Ornette Coleman.
Ian Carr was a Scottish jazz musician, composer, writer, and educator. Carr performed and recorded with the Rendell-Carr quintet and jazz-rock band Nucleus, and was an associate professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. He also wrote biographies of musicians Keith Jarrett and Miles Davis.
Miles Davis and the Modern Jazz Giants is an album by Miles Davis, released on Prestige Records in 1959. Most of the material comes from a session on December 24, 1954, featuring Thelonious Monk and Milt Jackson, and had been previously released in the discontinued ten inch LP format. "Swing Spring" was originally released on the 10"LP Miles Davis All Stars, Volume 1, and "Bemsha Swing" and "The Man I Love" had been previously released on Volume 2. "'Round Midnight" is newly released, and comes from the same sessions by Davis's new quintet in 1956 which resulted in Steamin' with the Miles Davis Quintet and three other albums to fulfill Davis's contract with Prestige.
Miles Davis and Milt Jackson Quintet/Sextet, also known as Quintet/Sextet and sometimes also as Miles Davis and Milt Jackson and reissued as Miles Davis: Odyssey!, is an album which compiles recordings made for Prestige Records on August 5, 1955 by Miles Davis. Credited to "Miles Davis and Milt Jackson", this was an "all-star" session, and did not feature any of the members of Davis's working group of the time. Jackie McLean only plays on his own compositions.
Agharta is a 1975 live double album by American jazz trumpeter, composer, and bandleader Miles Davis. By the time he recorded the album, Davis was 48 years old and had alienated many in the jazz community while attracting younger rock audiences with his radical electric fusion music. After experimenting with different line-ups, he established a stable live band in 1973 and toured constantly for the next two years, despite physical pain from worsening health and emotional instability brought on by substance abuse. During a three-week tour of Japan in 1975, the trumpeter performed two concerts at the Festival Hall in Osaka on February 1; the afternoon show produced Agharta and the evening show was released as Pangaea the following year.
We Want Miles is a double album recorded by jazz trumpeter Miles Davis in 1981, produced by Teo Macero and released by Columbia Records in 1982. The album combines recordings from the first live appearances by Davis in more than five years, at Boston's Kix Club, on June 27, 1981. Other tracks were recorded at Avery Fisher Hall, New York City, on July 5, and in Tokyo, October 4 of that year.
Black Beauty: Miles Davis at Fillmore West is a live double album by American jazz trumpeter, composer, and bandleader Miles Davis. It was recorded on April 10, 1970, at the Fillmore West in San Francisco, shortly after the release of the trumpeter's Bitches Brew album and the recording of Jack Johnson (1971). Black Beauty was produced by Teo Macero, Davis' longtime record producer.
The Miles Davis Quintet was an American jazz band from 1955 to early 1969 led by Miles Davis. The quintet underwent frequent personnel changes toward its metamorphosis into a different ensemble in 1969. Most references pertain to two distinct and relatively stable bands: the First Great Quintet from 1955 to 1958; and the Second Great Quintet from late 1964 to early 1969, Davis being the only constant throughout.
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