Gregg Belisle - Chi
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 that his father chose the trumpet to annoy his wife (Frankl 28). Despite opportunities to play professionally, his parents insisted that he finish school (Frankl 30).He was accepted to Julliard in New York and moved there in 1944. He began playing in the evenings in two of Harlem’s hottest clubs: Minton’s Playhouse and Monroes. He eventually dropped out of Julliard and began to play professionally (Frankl 45).
During this time, Davis met some of jazz greats and the originators of bebop such as Fats Navarro and J.J. 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 ...
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...dy of work from bebop to cool jazz to fusion all showcase his incredible talent and creativity.
Carr, Ian. Miles Davis: The Definitive Biography. New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press, 1998.
Crisp, George. Miles Davis. New York: F. Watts, 1997. Print.
Frankl, Ron. Miles Davis. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 1996. Print
Tate, Greg. Two Decades of Miles Davis’ Live revolutions. Rolling Stone, 16 Jul. 2015. Web 17
Jul. 2015 http://eds.a.ebscohost.com/eds/detail/detail?sid=c1e292f6-70d3-45c2-8af1-
Zwerin, Mike & Levine, Joshua. Birthday of the Cool. Forbes, 15 Nov. 1999. Web 17 Jul. 2015
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