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Miles Davis - Wikipedia

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Miles Dewey Davis III (May 26, 1926 - September 28, 1991) was one of the most influential and innovative musicians of the 20th century. A trumpeter, bandleader and composer, Davis was at the forefront of almost every major development in jazz after World War II. He played on some of the important early bebop records and recorded the first cool jazz records. He was partially responsible for the development of modal jazz, and jazz fusion arose from his work with other musicians in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Free jazz was the only post-war style not significantly influenced by Davis, although some musicians from his bands later pursued this style. His recordings, along with the live performances of his many influential bands, were vital in jazz's acceptance as music with lasting artistic value. A popularizer as well as an innovator, Davis became famous for his languid, melodic style and his laconic, and at times confrontational, personality. As an increasingly well-paid and fashionably-dressed jazz musician, Davis was also a symbol of jazz music's commercial potential.

Davis was late in a line of jazz trumpeters that started with Buddy Bolden and ran through Joe "King" Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Roy Eldridge and Dizzy Gillespie. He has been compared to Duke Ellington as a musical innovator: both were skillful players on their instruments, but were not considered technical virtuosos. Ellington's main strength was as a composer and leader of a large band, while Davis had a talent for drawing together talented musicians in small groups and allowing them space to develop. Many of the major figures in post-war jazz played in one of Davis's groups at some point in their career.

Davis was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 13, 2006. He has also been inducted into the St. Louis Walk of Fame, and the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame.

Contents

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* 1 Life

o 1.1 Early life (1926 to 1945)

o 1.2 Bebop and the birth of the cool (1944 to 1955)

o 1.3 First quintet and sextet (1955 to 1958)

o 1.4 Recordings with Gil Evans (1957 to 1963)

o 1.5 Kind of Blue (1959 to 1964)

o 1.6 Second quintet (1965 to 1968)

o 1.7 Electric Miles (1969 to 1975)

o 1.8 Last Decade (1981 to 1991)

* 2 Music samples

* 3 Discography

* 4 External links

* 5 Trivia

* 6 References

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Life

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Early life (1926 to 1945)

Miles Davis was born into a relatively wealthy African-American family living in Alton, Illinois. His father, Miles Henry Davis, was a dentist, and in 1927 the family moved to a white neighborhood in East St. Louis. They also owned a substantial ranch, and Davis learned to ride horses as a boy.

Davis's mother, Cleota, wanted Davis to learn the violin--she was a capable blues pianist, but kept this hidden from her son, feeling that "negro" music was not sufficiently genteel. At the age of nine, one of Davis's father's friends gave him his first trumpet, but he did not start learning to play seriously until the age of thirteen, when his father gave him a new trumpet and arranged lessons with local trumpeter Elwood Buchanan and, later, a man named Mone Peterson. Against the fashion of the time, Buchanan stressed the importance of playing without vibrato, and Davis would carry his clear signature tone throughout his career.

Clark Terry was another important early influence and friend of Davis's. By the age of sixteen, Davis was a member of the musician's union and working professionally when not at high school. At seventeen, he spent a year playing in bandleader Eddie Randle's "Blue Devils". During this time, Sonny Stitt tried to persuade him to join the Tiny Bradshaw band then passing through town, but Cleota insisted that he finish his final year of high school.

In 1944, the Billy Eckstine band visited St. Louis. Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker were members of the band, and Davis was taken on as third trumpet for a couple of weeks because of the illness of Buddy Anderson. When Eckstine's band left Davis behind to complete the tour, the trumpeter's parents were still keen for him to continue formal academic studies.

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Bebop and the birth of the cool (1944 to 1955)

CD reissue of Davis's 1957 LP Birth of the Cool, collecting much of his 1949 to 1950 work.

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CD reissue of Davis's 1957 LP Birth of the Cool, collecting much of his 1949 to 1950 work.

In 1944 Davis moved to New York City, ostensibly to take up a scholarship at the Juilliard School of Music. In reality, however, he neglected his studies and immediately set about tracking down Charlie Parker. His first recordings were made in 1945, and he was soon a member of Parker's quintet, appearing on many of Parker's seminal bebop recordings for the Savoy and Dial labels. Davis's style on trumpet was already distinctive by this point, but as a soloist he lacked the confidence and virtuosity of his mentors, and was known to play throttled notes (a trademark of Davis's) and to sometimes stumble during his solos.

By 1948 he had served his apprenticeship as a sideman, both on stage and record, and a recording career of his own was beginning to blossom. Davis began to work with a nonet that featured then-unusual instrumentation such as the French horn and tuba. The nonet featured a young Gerry Mulligan and Lee Konitz. After some gigs at New York's Royal Roost, Davis was signed by Capitol Records. The nonet released several singles in 1949 and 1950, featuring arrangements by Gil Evans, Gerry Mulligan and John Lewis. This began his collaboration with Evans, with whom he would collaborate on many of his major works over the next twenty years. The sides saw only limited release until 1957, when eleven

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