Males Davis Is considered to be one of the most influential jazz musicians in history. Being a trumpeter, keyboardist, composer, and band- leader, Miles is responsible for the popularization of many styles of Jazz throughout his long and prolific career. Miles Dewey Davis was born into a well-to-do family in the town of Alton, Illinois. The family owned a large portion of a farm where Miles learned to ride horses as a young boy. In 1927 the family moved to East SST. Louis.
Miles’ mother, Ocelot Henry, encouraged him to play the violin while his father bought him a trumpet when he turned thirteen and arranged his first lesson with trumpeter Elwood Buchanan. One of the mall reasons Miles’ father chose the trumpet Is due to the fact Ocelot was annoyed by its sound. His teacher stressed a style of play that did not involve vibrato. Miles carried this style throughout his entire career. Buchanan would rap Miles’ knuckles with a ruler every time he used vibrato. Males had numerous offers from bands when in high school but his mother insisted he finish school before he continued with his music career.
In 1944, the Billy Stickiness band came to SST. Louis. Prominent Jazz figures during the time Including Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker were part of the band. Due to one of the band members being Ill, Miles took on the position of third trumpet for a couple weeks. After the band resumed its normal condition, Males was left behind to finish his academic studies as requested by his parents. In 1944, Miles moved to New York City with the intention of attending Jailbird School of Music. Instead of keeping with his studies, Males was more concerned with his career as a musician in a band.
Miles made some of his first recordings in 1945 and also Joined Charlie Parser’s quintet. Though Miles was not as developed during this time, his style was already easily recognizable and distinguished. In 1949, Miles had the opportunity to lead a band which consisted of nine players, also known as a note. The band used non-traditional instruments in a jazz setting. Many consider this to be the birth of. That same year Miles visited Europe and played at that year’s Paris Jazz Festival in May. Because of his contact with people in the New York Clubs, Miles became addicted o heroin.
Because of this, In 1953, Miles returned to his father’s farm and remained there until his addiction was broken. In 1954 Miles made a number of important recordings, and began to utilize the Harmon mute which darkened the sound of his trumpet. Males used this mute throughout the rest of his career. 1955 was perhaps one of the most important years of Mile’s career. Miles played one his most popular solos ever for Telethons Monk’s “Round Midnight” at the Newport Jazz Festival. Miles was almost Immediately popularized and continued to sign a record deal with Columbia and form his first quintet.
Miles new quintet featured John Chlorate as tenor saxophonist, Red Garland on focused primarily on long melodic lines in which he first experimented with modal jazz. The group made its first recording, “Round About Midnight” for Columbia Records in 1955. The group was not stable and due primarily to heroin use amongst them, they disbanded in 1957. The next year the group reformed but with the addition of Julian “Cannonball” Dearly playing alto saxophone. The group was now a sextet. They soon recorded the record, “Milestones”. In 1958 a couple of the band embers were replaced.
In March and April of 1959, Miles returned to the studio with his sextet to record perhaps one of the most widely recognized and best-selling Jazz albums ever, “Kind of Blue”. In 1963, Miles Davis put together his 2nd famous quintet. Members included Wayne Shorter, Herb Hancock, Ron Carter, and 16 year old drumming prodigy Tony Williams. The band remained together for 5 years producing a different kind of Jazz that consisting of rhythmic freedom and a faster tempo. In 1968 Miles added a 2nd keyboardist and began his experimentation with electric instruments.
The first album in this form was “In a Silent Way” which was released in 1969. For this recording Miles was Joined by guitarist John McLaughlin and keyboardists Chick Corer and Joe Zanily. This album led to the groundbreaking album, “Pitches Brew”. “Pitches Brew” is considered to be one of the most innovative and fresh musical styles created. The recording was inspired by numerous psychedelic musicians of the time such as guitarist Jim Hendrix, Sly and the Family Stone, and singer James Brown. Miles band adapted to electric instruments instead of the traditional for recording ND live performances.
As the sass’s began, Miles continued his experimentation with electrical instruments and moved slightly towards funk style music. Miles used way-way effects on his trumpet in many of his performances and recordings. Several live albums were recorded during the early ass’s. In 1972, Miles recorded “On the Corner”, which combined funk music with traditional Jazz. The record was not popular amongst the media and critics due primarily to its inability to be categorized into a genre of music. In 1974 Columbia recorded three Alp’s consisting of live performances y Miles Davis.