Miles Davis was one of the top jazz musicians during his era. He was born in 1926 in Illinois and moved to New York City at the age of 18 to pursue music. He was driven by a vision of changing jazz music completely and won eight Grammys while doing so. He was a musician who started from a circle of modern jazz and had intuitions to take up new sounds and challenges. While every other musician was settling with something they have discovered already, Miles never stopped exploring and followed his intuition and innovations until his death.
Miles Davis was born to a prosperous dental surgeon and a music teacher on May 26, 1926. He grew up in a higher middle-class household and received his first trumpet at the age of 13. He received his very first lessons from Elwood Buchanan, who was a friend of his father and the director of a music school. Miles style of playing the trumpet is inspired a lot from Buchanan.
Miles started playing professionally in high school and was invited by Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker to play with them when they needed a trumpet player to replace their sick bandmate. Miles later left Illinois and enrolled in Juilliard School in New York.
He met Charlie Parker, and they started playing at Harlem nightclubs. During these gigs, he met several musicians with whom he would eventually play in future.
Career and Albums
Miles Davis became the bearer of the new generation of musicians and shaped the music improvisation more than half-dozen times. In 1945, Miles Davis decided to drop out of Juilliard and became a full-time jazz musician. Along with side Charlie Parker, Miles recorded his first recording in 1946. For the next two years, Davis and Parker recorded non-stop. This was also the time Davis was experimenting with the improves in jazz. In 1949, Davis and Parker formed a band of nine musicians. Some of them played uncommon instruments like French horn, Trombone, and Tuba. Davis released a series of singles that were his first contribution to modern jazz. Later, all the songs were released again under the album ‘Birth of the Cool’ in 1950.
In the next decade, he released all-time classics like Porgy and Bess and Kind of Blue. Among jazz musicians and lovers, Kind of Blue is credited as the highest-selling jazz album because everyone at that time had a copy of it. It sold more than 2 million copies.
Miles Davis worked all his life to deliver something new and innovative to the listeners and musicians. He was awarded Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award in 1990. In the coming year, he also performed with Quincy Jones at the Montreux Jazz Festival. He played some of his best classics and some of them he had not played for over 20 years. In the same year, Davis died due to pneumonia on Sep 28, 1991. His final recording with Quincy Jones brought him his final Grammy in 1993.