Miles Davis and Steve Reich

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Topics: Jazz, Miles Davis, Music
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 Street” and “Summer Night”. “On Green Dolphin Street” starts out quietly and reminds me of a loud, smoke filled club in a movie from the 60’s. I especially liked the muted trumpet. The sound was easy to hear, not harsh on the ears-the saxophone was smooth, but kind of louder than the song needed. “Summer Night” began with the muted trumpet again, and the whole song was incredibly easy to listen to. It really sounded like a hot, sticky summer night when all you want to do is lie around with a very cold drink. I thoroughly enjoy Miles Davis’ music-to keep in the spirit, I even have the album “Kind of Blue”. Though I am not particularly fond of jazz (especially of the ‘elevator music’ type), it is obvious that there was thought, time and talent put in every moment of what I’ve heard of Davis. There seems to be plenty of melody and just enough improvisation to keep things interesting, but not get dry or tiresome. Steve Reich was a composer of the minimalist style of music. He used many types of media to create his music. The class textbook describes Reich as the acknowledged old master of the minimalist style and having little experience with this type of music I cannot agree or disagree with this statement- however, I can offer my opinion. I read through the text and Steve Reich website, listened to the “Music for 18 Musicians” and found that I disliked the sounds that I heard. So I watched all of the videos and listened to the required MP3 four more times. While I

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