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      Miles Davis

      Miles Davis

      Highest Rated: 100% Ronnie's (2020)

      Lowest Rated: 83% Dingo (1991)

      Birthday: May 26, 1926

      Birthplace: Alton, Illinois, USA

      Miles Davis was one of the most influential artists in the history of jazz, not only in terms of his approach to the trumpet, but as a bandleader, composer, arranger, and thinker. Incredibly adventurous, he leaped boldly from one mode of innovation to another over the years, laying the groundwork for one musical movement after another. Born in Alton, Illinois on May 26, 1926, he began playing trumpet as a child. By 1939 he and his family had relocated East St. Louis, where he began playing in bands. When Billy Eckstine came through town, an opportunity arose for an 18-year-old Davis to join his band. After playing with them for a short time, he moved to New York, where he soon began jamming with bebop giants like Charlie Parker and Thelonious Monk. In 1945 he took part in his first recording sessions, with Herbie Fields as the leader. Soon after, he was recording with Parker, Eckstine, and others. His first record as a leader, "Milestones" b/w "Sippin' at Bells," was released on Savoy in 1946. In 1948 The Miles Davis Nonet was formed, including saxmen Lee Konitz and Gerry Mulligan. The sessions they recorded in 1949-'50, eventually compiled in 1957 as the legendary Birth of the Cool album, were a huge influence on the understated, minimalist "cool jazz" movement of the 1950s that took post-bop jazz someplace new. Davis's first album, The New Sounds, was released in 1951 on Prestige. The early '50s were a dark time for him, dominated by heroin addiction and a resultant descent into crime. He left New York for a time, but came back in better shape in 1954 and began recording prolifically. During this period he began to simplify his style, helping to establish the "hard bop" movement, especially on classic late-'50s string of LPs that included Walkin', Cookin', Relaxin', and Workin'. This series also introduced what would become known a his "first great quintet," which included Sonny Rollins, Red Garland, Paul Chambers, and Philly Joe Jones. From the late '50s through the early '60s, Davis and bandleader/arranger Gil Evans crafted an eclectic, adventurous series of albums beginning with 1957's Miles Ahead and best known by 1960's elaborately orchestrated Sketches of Spain. During this period, sans Evans, Davis also crafted the celebrated Kind of Blue, in which he began to investigate the possibilities of favoring a modal approach instead of complex chord changes. These ideas informed what would be known as his "second great quintet" with Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock, and Tony Williams on records like 1965's E.S.P and 1967's Miles Smiles. With 1969's In a Silent Way and 1970's Bitches Brew, Davis ventured farther than ever before. With John McLaughlin on electric guitar and Hancock, Chick Corea, and Joe Zawinul adding electric keyboards, Miles put jazz-rock fusion on the map. By the early '70s, this move made him as much of a rock star as a jazz hero. He moved into funk grooves with records like 1972's On the Corner. Between 1975 and 1981 Davis went into semi-retirement, but returned with 1981's Man With the Horn. In the mid '80s he began incorporating synthesizers and drum machines, adopting a slicker sound and alienating some of his fans in the process. On September 28, 1991, Davis died after going into a coma precipitated by a cerebral hemmorhage. His final album, Doo-Bop, was posthumously released in 1992.

      Highest rated movies

      Ronnie's
      Dingo

      Photos

      Miles Davis and Bob Berg performing at the Beacon Theatre, New York City, April 1986. photo: Karen Petersen / Everett Collection Miles Davis and Bob Berg performing at the Beacon Theatre, New York City, April 1986. photo: Karen Petersen / Everett Collection

      Filmography

      Movies

      Credit
      100% No Score Yet Ronnie's Unknown (Character) - 2020
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Human Geography Original Music - 2013
      No Score Yet 71% Miles Electric: A Different Kind of Blue Unknown (Character),
      Original Music
      - 2004
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Keith Jarrett - The Art of Improvisation Self - 2004
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Barry Harris - Spirit of Bebop Unknown (Character) - 2000
      83% 76% Dingo Billy Cross (Character) - 1991
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Listen Up: The Lives of Quincy Jones Unknown (Character) $184.0K 1990
      88% 77% Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One Original Music - 1968
      93% 91% Elevator to the Gallows Original Music $104.8K 1958

      TV

      Credit
      71% 81% Miami Vice Ivory Jones (Guest Star) 1985
      No Score Yet 58% Saturday Night Live Music Performer 1981