miles davis

-Born May 26, 1926 in Alton, Illinois, before moving to East St. Louis in 1927

-Began trumpet lessons at age 13 with local musician Elwood Buchanan

-Moved to NYC to study at Juilliard in 1944; Linked up with Charlie Parker, participated in jam sessions, dropped out of Juilliard

-Replaced Dizzy Gillespie in Parker’s quintet; marked beginning of period where he performed mostly freelance work

-Along with Gil Evans birthed ‘cool jazz’ – divergent from bepbops aggressive tempos

-Developed life-long heroin habit amid state of depression from lack of respect attributed to his aid in ‘cool jazz’ and loss of girlfriend

-Following return to form at Newport Jazz Festival in 1955, he linked up with little known John Coltrane to form “First Quintet”; recruited alto saxophonist Cannonball Adderley to form sextet

-Released most successful/popular/acclaimed album Kind of Blue in 1959

-Formed “second great quintet” in 60’s with Herbie Hancock, saxophonist Wayne Shorter, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Tony Williams

-Began incorporating acid rock and funk influences into his late 60’s work; Chick Corea replaced Hancock and John McLaughlin to pursue jazz-fusion sound

-Serious car accident in 1972 and retirement from 1975-1980 are largely responsible for the spottiness of the remainder of Davis’ musical career

-Died on September 28, 1991 from stroke, pneumonia and respiratory failure


Interview for Playboy with Alex Haley

From Left to Right: Coltrane, Adderley, Davis, and Evans


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