Home » Jazz Musicians » Miles Davis

Miles Davis

Miles Davis is an NEA Jazz Master

Throughout a professional career lasting 50 years, Miles Davis played the trumpet in a lyrical, introspective, and melodic style, often employing a stemless harmon mute to make his sound more personal and intimate. But if his approach to his instrument was constant, his approach to jazz was dazzlingly protean. To examine his career is to examine the history of jazz from the mid-'40s to the early '90s, since he was in the thick of almost every important innovation and stylistic development in the music during that period, and he often led the way in those changes, both with his own performances and recordings and by choosing sidemen and collaborators who forged the new directions. It can even be argued that jazz stopped evolving when Davis wasn't there to push it forward.

Davis was the son of a dental surgeon, Dr. Miles Dewey Davis, Jr., and a music teacher, Cleota Mae (Henry) Davis, and thus grew up in the black middle class of East St. Louis after the family moved there shortly after his birth. He became interested in music during his childhood and by the age of 12 had begun taking trumpet lessons. While still in high school, he started to get jobs playing in local bars and at 16 was playing gigs out of town on weekends. At 17, he joined Eddie Randle's Blue Devils, a territory band based in St. Louis. He enjoyed a personal apotheosis in 1944, just after graduating from high school, when he saw and was allowed to sit in with Billy Eckstine's big band, which was playing in St. Louis. The band featured trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and saxophonist Charlie Parker, the architects of the emerging bebop style of jazz, which was characterized by fast, inventive soloing and dynamic rhythm variations.

Read more

Tags

B.D. Lenz
guitar, electric
Brian Swartz
trumpet
Dom Minasi
guitar
Vicki Burns
voice / vocals
Marilyn Scott
voice / vocals
Max Perkoff
trombone
Bill Gati
saxophone
Russ Nolan
saxophone, tenor
Chris Abelen
trombone
Lynda Murray
saxophone, alto
Orhan Demir
guitar
Saskia Laroo
trumpet
Dmitri Matheny
flugelhorn
Lyle Mays
keyboards
Jackie McLean
saxophone, alto
Pat Metheny
guitar
Doug Munro
guitar
Sam Allen
drums
Matthieu Marthouret
organ, Hammond B3
Rochelle House
voice / vocals
Bruce Harris
trumpet
Jeff Lofton
trumpet
Bill Stevens
trumpet
Lee Barbour
guitar
Scott Detweiler
voice / vocals
Kestutis Stanciauskas
bass, electric
Matt Finley
flugelhorn
Brad Felt
euphonium
Shirley Crabbe
voice / vocals
Klaus Lessmann
woodwinds
Ricardo Pinheiro
guitar, electric
Scott Reeves
trombone
Gui Duvignau
bass, acoustic
Daphna Sadeh
bass, acoustic
Sonic Liberation Front
band/orchestra
Kit Watkins
multi-instrumentalist
Dave Howard
guitar, electric
Michael Staron
bass, acoustic
Dan Wilensky
saxophone
Ryan Berg
bass, acoustic
Dmitry Tsepilov
saxophone, alto
Laurent Doumont
saxophone
Brent Bowman
saxophone, alto
Bob Crawford
guitar, electric
Chris Hall
trumpet
Jack Furlong
saxophone, baritone
John DePaola
trumpet
Matthias Broede
harmonica
SoSaLa
saxophone, tenor
Arthur Sadowsky
bass, electric
Manu Koch
keyboards
Barbie Anaka
voice / vocals
Myles Brown
guitar
Markus Rutz
trumpet
Bobby Stern
saxophone, tenor
Geoff Mason
trombone
Maziyar Khavajiyan
bass, electric
Gijs Levelt
trumpet
ctraltu
trumpet
Gary Kelly
bass, electric
Jorge Garcia
guitar, electric
Kitty Green
multi-instrumentalist
Dave Quick
synthesizer
Duo Laroo/Byrd
band/orchestra
Andrew DeNicola
saxophone, tenor
Marco Moura
guitar
Gabriel Bey
trumpet
Antero Priha
trumpet
Jesse Dietschi
bass, acoustic
Julian Nicholas
saxophone, tenor
Hashima
band/orchestra
Benjamin Boone
saxophone
Ryan Baker
voice / vocals
Ultrafaux
band/orchestra
Filippo Bianchini
saxophone, tenor
Karla Bauer
voice / vocals
Jozef Nadj
violin
James Olsen
composer/conductor
Paul Giess
trumpet
Kristen Lee Sergeant
voice / vocals
Nick Lombardelli
multi-instrumentalist
Claudia Vorbach
voice / vocals
Filtron M
band/orchestra
Dan Jonas
trumpet
Marc Beaudin, poet
poet/spoken word
Tyr Morris
flugelhorn
Phil Dawson
guitar
Elliot Bild
trumpet
Gregg Fine
guitar
The Next Step Quintet
band/orchestra
Michael Neff
trumpet
Viktor Haraszti
saxophone
David Post
voice / vocals
John Kalleen
trumpet
Pete Coco
bass, acoustic
Pagliuca-Mena
band/orchestra
The Rookies
arranger
Katerina Brown
voice / vocals
Akos Forgacs
bass, electric
Ella Mar
voice / vocals
Angela on the Arts
band/orchestra
LuisGa Núñez
bass, acoustic
Amanda Addleman
voice / vocals
Jol Tai
saxophone
Emile Turner
trumpet
Mark R DeJong
saxophone
Eric West
drums
Jazz Interlude
band/orchestra
Lex French
trumpet
Illya Gomola
keyboards
Fabrizio Savino
guitar, electric
Mary Amaral
voice / vocals
Denin Koch
guitar, electric
Sunhyun Yoo
saxophone, alto
Mike Schwebke
multi-instrumentalist
Philippe Coignet
guitar, electric
Manuel Muzzu
bass, electric
Stuart Redd
guitar
Paco Reinaldet
saxophone, soprano
Nikos Koulouris
saxophone
Matteo Mosolo
bass, acoustic
Kurt Leege
guitar
Isaac Marley
guitar, electric
Irini Konstantinidi
voice / vocals
Camila Ronza
voice / vocals
Johan Grim
guitar
Dom Angelo Mongiovi
guitar, electric
Noam Shapira
saxophone
Ash Luo
drums
Erik Hempel
bass, acoustic
Andres Hayes
saxophone, tenor
Tibor Debreceni
guitar, electric
SoSaLa2
saxophone, tenor
Ari Joshua
guitar
Unc D
bass, electric
ML Caldwell
keyboards
Erkin Kydykbaev
bass, acoustic
ERICH FISCHER
vibraphone
Ken Krueger
guitar
David Cain
multi-instrumentalist
Germana Stella La Sorsa
voice / vocals
Jacques Bailhé
composer/conductor
VOODOO
drums
Pieter Egriega
guitar and vocals
Anita Donndorff
voice / vocals

Photos

Albums

Music From And...

Legacy Recordings
2020

buy

The Savoy 10-inch LP...

Craft Recordings
2020

buy

Birth Of Bebop -...

Ezz-thetics
2020

buy

Be Bop Live

Ezz-thetics
2020

buy

Videos

Similar

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.