Drugs and Miles Davis

Powerful Essays
Throughout America's music history, the use and abuse of illegal drugs has been widespread, and some great musicians' lives have been utterly devistated and ruined by drugs. Often times it seems as though, in studying their histories, many musicians are falsely led to believe that if they use certain drugs, their playing will improve, or become more creative. Many great musician's lives have been tragicly cut short because of their drug use, and God only knows where some of them would be today had they not fallen into the trap of believing a chemical substance can improve their musicianship. The tragic thing is that by the time they realize that the drugs are only hurting their performance, the addiction has already taken control of their lives and their music. The first real drug epidemic in the American music scene came when jazz was in its developmental stages in the first half and the middle of the 20th century. While there was a heroin epedimic across the nation at the time, not just with musicians, the latter half of the 20th century has suffered several musical casualties to the drug. As the great players, such as Charlie Parker, began using, the up and coming musicians who idolized him were well aware of his drug use. Upon seeing their idol shoot up, then go on stage and rip through bebop like it was nothing, these young players began to think, "If I tried it, I might be able to play like that." One of these young players, who would eventually be come one of the most historical figures in jazz, was Miles Davis. Miles came from a well off middle class family. His dad was a successful dentist, so money was never an issue. Miles' father encouraged the arts, while his mother discouraged it because the chances of making a good living are slim to none. However, Miles ended up going to Juliard for trumpet and his career began when he started playing with other musicians in New York, rather than focusing on school. It was when Miles was playing in Billy

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Powerful Essays

    Miles Davis

    • 1358 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Miles Davis: The music’s right but the approach is wrong. Music listeners everywhere have heard at least a smidgen of the music from “the prince of darkness”. Although Miles Davis, dubbed the “most revered jazz trumpeter of all time, not to mention one of the most important musicians of the 20th century” by Rolling Stone Magazine and known as the birth of cool, attitudes and behaviors we never truly kind and the man was notoriously known as a jerk, his music was of great importance to the jazz…

    • 1358 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Better Essays

    Miles Davis

    • 1710 Words
    • 7 Pages

    The Electric Miles Davis Born in Alton, Illinois, Miles Davis grew up in a middle-class family in East St. Louis. Miles Davis took up the trumpet at the age of 13 and was playing professionally two years later. Some of his first gigs included performances with his high school bandand playing with Eddie Randall and the blue Devils. Miles Davis has said that the greatest musical experience of his life was hearing the Billy Eckstine orchestra when it passed through St. Louis. In September…

    • 1710 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Better Essays

    Miles Davis Essay

    • 1141 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Jon Davis Perspectives in American Jazz Ben Martinson December 10, 2009 Miles Davis: The Last Pioneer in American Jazz Miles Davis represents the pinnacle of modern American Jazz. He was one of the foremost pioneers in the inventions of cool jazz, hard bop, free jazz, fusion and techno. He was, arguably one of the most influential figures in music, pushing the boundaries of what was commonly known as jazz into new directions that most people thought was impossible. Davis was born…

    • 1141 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Miles Davis [pic] Miles Davis | | Home > Library > Miscellaneous > Who2 Biographies | | | | |View Poster | | | • Born: 26 May 1926 • Birthplace: Alton, Illinois • Died: 28 September 1991 • Best Known As: Composer/performer of Kind of Blue Name at birth:…

    • 1358 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Biography of Miles Davis

    • 1124 Words
    • 5 Pages

    History of Jazz Miles Davis Born on May 26, 1926, Miles Davis is considered to be one of the most influential jazz musicians in history. Being a trumpeter, keyboardist, composer, and band-leader, Miles is responsible for the popularization of many styles of jazz throughout his long and prolific career. Miles Dewey Davis was born into a well-to-do family in the town of Alton, Illinois. The family owned a large portion of a farm where Miles learned to ride horses as a young boy. In 1927 the…

    • 1124 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Miles Davis and Steve Reich This paper will briefly discuss some of the music of Miles Davis and Steve Reich. While both of these composers were instrumental in the development of the kinds of music they composed and played, they have very different sounds. Steve Reich created minimalist music, while Miles Davis created jazz. In 1959, Miles Davis released, ”Kind of Blue”, the best-selling jazz album ever. It was an example of a new type of jazz, called modal jazz. I listened to “On Green Dolphin…

    • 683 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Question 11 Miles Davis was one of the greatest and most important figures in jazz history. Miles Dewey Davis III was a musician, composer, arranger, producer and bandleader all in one. Davis was at the forefront of almost every major development in jazz after World War 2. He was one of the most influential and innovative musicians of the twentieth century along with Charlie Parker and Louis Armstrong. His versatility landed him at the forefront of bebop, cool jazz, modal, hard bop and fusion…

    • 1762 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Miles Davis was an American Jazz musician back in the 1960s. He was not only a terrific trumpeter, but was also a bandleader and composer. Miles Davis is just one of the people who had a major impact and influence on the Jazz-Rock fusion era and artists in the late 1940s. Unknowingly, Miles Davis would grow and become one of the leading figures in the Jazz world, and would help Jazz-Rock to be brought to the mainstream music…

    • 79 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    In the year 1959, Jazz innovator Miles Davis created a sound that would inspire generations of artists in Jazz, R&B, Rap, and Rock. Early that year, Davis had laid down the album Kind of Blue, a record that would be the foundation of modal jazz. As Davis’ best selling album, the record was a major hit with critics and listeners everywhere. Showcasing each songs complexity through soloing, Davis was able to entice educated listeners with the simplicity of the modes. The musicality behind Kind of…

    • 635 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    In early 1959, jazz trumpeter Miles Davis laid down the foundation for a whole new style of jazz music. Through his "Kind of Blue"� modal jazz was born. This record became a classic, at times showing its complexity through the soloing, but also allowing the educated listener to revel in the simplicity of the modes. Davis planted the seeds for this new style in his album "Milestones"� but "Kind of Blue"� showed that the style had matured and was more developed. From the introductory piano/bass duet…

    • 630 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays