Miles Davis (1926–1991)
26th May 1926 in Alton, Illinois, USA.
Miles Davis’s grave in New York
28th September 1991 in Santa Monica, California, USA.
Woodlawn Cemetery in The Bronx, New York, New York, USA.
Some famous singles:
The greatest jazz album ever!
- Kind of Blue (1959).
(See the videos below. See also The Great Jazz Artists page for a picture of the album cover.)
Some other (very!) great albums:
- Birth of the Cool (1949–1950).
- Walkin’ (1954).
- Bags’ Grove (1954).
- Miles Ahead (1957).
- Milestones (1958).
- Porgy and Bess (1958).
- The Complete Concert (1964).
- Miles Smiles (1966).
- In a Silent Way (1969).
- Bitches Brew (1969).
- Tutu (1986).
- Amandla (1989).
- Plus many others!
Some interesting facts:
- He was one of the greatest jazz artists ever!
- Some people say he was the greatest musician of the last century!
- He played and recorded great jazz for about 40 years!
- His album ‘Kind of Blue’ has sold more copies than any other jazz album in history!
- He helped to create many different types of jazz, especially ‘cool jazz’. [Cool jazz is ‘cool’—it sounds a bit laid-back.]
- He was a leading jazz artist in almost every type of jazz that appeared from the late 1940s until the end of his life. The only exception to this is probably ‘free jazz’.
- He mainly played the trumpet. However, he also played a trumpet-like instrument called the flugelhorn.
- He began his career with Charlie Parker’s group.
- After working with Charlie Parker he formed his own groups. Many famous jazz musicians started their careers with Miles Davis—for example, Bill Evans, John Coltrane and Herbie Hancock.
- The group that made ‘Kind of Blue’ is known as the ‘First Great Quintet’ (‘quintet’ means five musicians playing together). There was also a ‘Second Great Quintet’ a few years later.
- At the end of the 1960s he also began to mix jazz and rock music.
- He liked using bad language and was often quite rude! This earned him the nickname ‘Prince of Darkness’.
Here is a video of All Blues by Miles Davis. It comes from then jazz album, Kind of Blue. By the way, Miles Davis is the person playing the trumpet in this video (the third on the left in the picture).
‘All Blues’ from the album ‘Kind of Blue’ by Miles Davis
And here is Miles Davies and his band playing So What. This song also appears on the album Kind of Blue.
‘So What’ by Miles Davis
There is a picture of the album cover of ‘Kind of Blue’ by Miles Davis on the following page:
- Miles Davis. This photograph was taken by Tom Palumbo from New York City, USA. The image is free to use providing one credits the photographer. Click here for the source of this image, along with the relevant copyright information.
- Miles Davis’s grave in New York. This photograph was taken on the 9th December 2009 by the user Anthony22 on Wikipedia. This image is free to use providing one credits the photographer. Click here for the source of this image, along with the relevant copyright information.
- Miles Davis – Kind of Blue – 1959 – All Blues. The person who posted this on YouTube writes: The album’s influence has reached beyond jazz, as musicians of such genres as rock and classical have been influenced by it, while critics have acknowledged it as one of the most influential albums of all time. Many improvisatory rock musicians of the 1960s referred to Kind of Blue for inspiration, along with other Davis albums, as well as Coltrane’s modal records My Favorite Things (1961) and A Love Supreme (1965). This song is a very melow and moving jazz song.
- Miles Davis – So What(1964). Miles Davis on Steve Allen Show. Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Tony Williams.