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• Born: 26 May 1926 • Birthplace: Alton, Illinois • Died: 28 September 1991 • Best Known As: Composer/performer of Kind of Blue
Name at birth: Miles Dewey Davis, Jr.
In the 1940s, Miles Davis went off to New York City to study music at Julliard. He ended up playing jazz with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie instead, soon playing trumpet behind some of the biggest bandleaders of the era. As a bandleader himself during the 1950s and '60s, his influence led to "cool" jazz and the emergence of the musician as composer and arranger. He recorded many classic albums, including Relaxin' With Miles Davis, Birth of the Cool, and, with compositional help from Bill Evans, Kind of Blue; his 1969 Bitches Brew, merging jazz with rock and free-form improvisation, made the top 40 pop charts. Unlike many trumpeters of his era, Davis relied on tone rather than speed, often using a mute with his horn. He is considered one of the most influential musicians of the past century.
Miles Davis was one of the greatest visionaries and most important figures in jazz history. He was born in a well-to-do family in East St. Louis. He became a local phenom and toured locally with Billy Eckstine's band while he was in high school. He moved to New York under the guise of attending the Julliard School of Music. However, his real intentions were to hook up with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. He quickly climbed up the ranks while learning from Bird and Diz and became the trumpet player for Charlie Parker's group for nearly 3 years. His first attempt at leading a group came in 1949 and was the first of many occurrences in which he