Miles Davis | Artist

Miles Davis | Artist

Tags: Era_1960s, Gender_Male, Genre_Fusion, Genre_Jazz, Origin_USA, Type_Artist

Miles Dewey Davis III was an American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, and composer born 1926 in Alton, Illinois. He was one of the most influential and acclaimed figures in the history of jazz and 20th century music. Over his 50 year career Davis moved through be-bop, hard bop, modal jazz, jazz-funk and jazz-rock fusion styles, keeping at the forefront of major stylistic developments in jazz, and ultimately creating his own sound. Raised in East St. Louis, Davis left to study at Julliard in New York City, before dropping out and making his professional debut as a member of Charlie Parker's bebop quintet from 1944 to 1948. He recorded for the first time on April 24, 1945, when he entered the studio as a sideman for Herbie Fields' band. The following year, he recorded as a leader for the first time with the Miles Davis Sextet plus Earl Coleman and Ann Baker, one of the few times he accompanied a singer. In 1945, Davis replaced Dizzy Gillespie in Charlie Parker's quintet and that same year participated in several recording sessions as part of Parker's group Reboppers that also involved Gillespie and Max Roach. In August 1948, Davis declined to join Duke Ellington's orchestra and instead began rehearsals with a nine-piece band featuring saxophonist Gerry Mulligan and arrangements by Gil Evans. 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 atypical modern jazz instruments such as French horn and tuba, leading to a thickly textured, orchestral sound. 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 Nonet recorded a dozen tracks which were released as singles and subsequently compiled on the 1957 album Birth of the Cool. Davis' work from the late '50s through to the end of the '60s saw him become the most widely recognised jazz musician of his era, an outspoken social critic and an arbiter of style in attitude and fashion, as well as music. During this period Davis created many timeless jazz albums such as 'Round About Midnight (1957), Cookin' With Miles (1957), Ascenseur pour l'échafaud (1958), Milestones (1958), Kind of Blue (1959), Workin' With Miles (1959) Sketches of Spain (1960), Miles Smiles (1967) and Nefertiti (1968). By 1969 Davis was entering his 'Electric Period', heralding a major change in direction towards jazz-rock fusion and the release of a series of superb albums which re-shaped jazz and crossed over into mainstream rock audiences; In A Silent Way (1969), Bitches Brew (1970), A Tribute to Jack Johnson (1971), On The Corner (1972) and Get Up With It (1974). In addition to his studio albums, Davis and his various ensembles released many excellent live albums, including Miles Davis in Person at the Blackhawk San Francisco (1961), Live-Evil (1971), and Dark Magus (1977). Based on professional rankings of his albums and songs, the aggregate website Acclaimed Music lists Miles Davis as the 16th most acclaimed recording artist in history. In 2001 The Miles Davis Story, a two-hour documentary film by Mike Dibb, won an International Emmy Award for arts documentary of the year. The semi-biographical film Miles Ahead was a 2015 American music film directed by Don Cheadle. Davis died on September 28th 1991 at the age of 65. He was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in The Bronx New York, with one of his trumpets, near the site of Duke Ellington's grave.

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Featured Albums: Miles Davis

Related Artists: John Coltrane, Gil Evans, Michel Legrand

Video Clips: So What, Bitches Brew, Birth of the Cool

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