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 1944 Davis went to New York to study at Juilliard but spend much more time hanging out on 52nd Street and eventually dropped out of school. He moved from his home in East St. Louis to New York primarily to enter school but also to locate his musical idol, Charlie Parker. He played with Parker live and in recordings from the period of 1945 to 1948. Davis began leading his own group in 1948 as well as working with arranger Gil Evans. Davis' career was briefly interrupted by a heroin addiction, although he continued to record with other popular bop musicians. 1955 was Miles Davis' breakthrough year. His performance of "round midnight" at the Newport Jazz Festival alerted the critics that he was "back". Davis form a quintet which included Red Garland, Paul Chambers, Philly Joe Jones, and John Coletrain. In 1957 Davis made the first of many solo recordings with the unusual jazz orchestrations of Gil Evans, and he wrote music for film by Louis Malle. In 1963Davis formed a new quintet including the talents of Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Tony Williams, and Wayne Shorter. The late 1960s sound Davis playing with a variety of talented musicians. Davis retired during the mid-70s due to severe ailments and an automobile accident. He returned in 1980 making new recordings and expensive tours. He received an honorary doctorate of music from the New England Conservatory in 1986 in honor of his long-standing achievements. Davis' playing Incorporated many styles,...
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