Portal:Miles Davis

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Miles Davis

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Miles Dewey Davis III (May 26, 1926 – September 28, 1991) was an American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, and composer. He is among the most influential and acclaimed figures in the history of jazz and 20th century music. Davis adopted a variety of musical directions in a five-decade career that kept him at the forefront of many major stylistic developments in jazz.

Born and raised in Illinois, Davis left his studies at The Juilliard School in New York City and made his professional debut as a member of saxophonist Charlie Parker's bebop quintet from 1944 to 1948. Shortly after, he recorded the Birth of the Cool sessions for Capitol Records, which were instrumental to the development of cool jazz. In the early 1950s, Davis recorded some of the earliest hard bop music while on Prestige Records but did so haphazardly due to a heroin addiction. After a widely acclaimed comeback performance at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1955, he signed a long-term contract with Columbia Records and recorded the 1957 album 'Round About Midnight. It was his first work with saxophonist John Coltrane and bassist Paul Chambers, key members of the sextet he led into the early 1960s. During this period, he alternated between orchestral jazz collaborations with arranger Gil Evans, such as the Spanish-influenced Sketches of Spain (1960), and band recordings, such as Milestones (1958) and Kind of Blue (1959). The latter recording remains one of the most popular jazz albums of all time, having sold over four million copies in the U.S.

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Sketches of Spain is an album by Miles Davis, recorded between November 1959 and March 1960 at the Columbia 30th Street Studio in New York City. The album pairs Davis with arranger and composer Gil Evans, with whom he had collaborated on several other projects, on a program of compositions largely derived from the Spanish folk tradition. (An extended version of the second movement of Joaquin Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez is also included, as well as a song called "Will o' the Wisp", from the ballet El amor brujo by Manuel de Falla.)

Prior to Birth of the Cool his appearances on record were mainly as a member of bebop saxophonist Charlie Parker's quintet. Most of his recordings with Parker are available in Parker’s Savoy and Dial box sets – other recordings, such as live albums, are listed below. Note that Parker was the leader on all of these sessions with the exception of the August 14, 1947 session, Davis’ first as a leader.


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Miles Davis at the Nice Jazz Festival in July 1989


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