Miles Davis: Most Influential Jazz Musicians In American History

1032 Words5 Pages
Haobang Lu
Gregg Belisle - Chi
Music 331
Miles Davis Miles Davis (1926-1991) was one of the most influential jazz musicians in American history. He was on the forefront of several breakthrough development in jazz including cool jazz and jazz fusion. He is one of the most recognizable musicians in the world of jazz and most Americans know his name even if they are not jazz enthusiasts. Davis became an accomplished trumpeter and was known for his smooth sound. Tate (2015) in his article for Rolling Stone magazine credits Davis’ cool style and creativity for the creativity and expression that changed the face of jazz music since the 1940’s. Miles was born in Alton, Illinois. His father was a dentists and his mother an accomplished pianist. The family was well to do and also owned a ranch in Arkansas. Davis developed his early appreciation for music through gospel music he heard at church. When he was thirteen, his father bought him a trumpet and arranged for lessons. Miles stated
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Johnson. He also played with Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker. With parker and his band, Davis’ signature of smooth and cool jazz was developing. He eventually left the group after Parker had a breakdown and there was too much infighting amongst the group members (Crisp 67). Davis met Gil Evans and the two together with an unusual assortment of musicians began producing music that was the opposite of bebop. Instead, there sound was very smooth and tried to capture the essence of the human voice. The group was given several months of studio time by Capitol Records. A few years later, the material was released as an album called, Birth of the Cool and cool jazz was born (Crisp 72). This unique sound would change the sound of jazz over the next several decades, the album has been rereleased several times over the years and is considered a classic (Zwerin and

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