Miles Davis (jazz trumpeter, bandleader, songwriter)

~ Person

Also performs as: Cleo Henry


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. With his ever-changing directions in music, Davis was at the forefront of a number of major stylistic developments in jazz over his five-decade career.

Born and raised in Illinois, Davis began performing in 1940s New York with saxophonist Charlie Parker before recording the Birth of the Cool sessions for Capitol Records, which were instrumental to the development of cool jazz. In the early 1950s, he 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 music-influenced Sketches of Spain (1960), and band recordings, such as Milestones (1958) and Kind of Blue (1959). The latter featured harmonies developed by pianist Bill Evans and was an innovative work in the emerging modal jazz style, eventually becoming arguably the most popular jazz album ever.

Davis made several line-up changes while recording Someday My Prince Will Come (1961), his Blackhawk concerts, and Seven Steps to Heaven (1963), another mainstream success that introduced bassist Ron Carter, pianist Herbie Hancock, and drummer Tony Williams. After adding saxophonist Wayne Shorter to his new quintet in 1964, Davis led them on a series of more abstract recordings often composed by the band members, helping pioneer the post-bop genre with albums such as E.S.P (1965) and Miles Smiles (1967), before transitioning into his electric period. During the 1970s, he radically experimented with rock, funk, African rhythms, emerging electronic music technology, and an ever-changing lineup of musicians, including keyboardist Joe Zawinul, drummer Al Foster, and guitarist John McLaughlin. This period, beginning with Davis' 1969 studio album In a Silent Way and concluding with the 1975 concert recording Agharta, was the most controversial in his career, alienating and challenging many in jazz. His million-selling 1970 record Bitches Brew helped spark a resurgence in the genre's commercial popularity with jazz fusion as the decade progressed.

After a five-year retirement due to poor health, Davis returned to recording new music and performing live in the early 1980s, which found him employing younger musicians and pop music sounds on albums such as The Man with the Horn (1981) and Tutu (1986). Critics were generally unreceptive but the decade garnered Davis his highest level of commercial recognition, as he performed sold-out concerts worldwide while branching out into visual arts, film, and television work, before his death in 1991. In 2006, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which recognized him as "one of the key figures in the history of jazz". Rolling Stone described Davis as "the most revered jazz trumpeter of all time, not to mention one of the most important musicians of the 20th century," while Gerald Lyn Early called him inarguably one of the most influential and innovative musicians of that period.

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1952 Young Man with a Horn Miles Davis 2
1953 Blue Period Miles Davis 1
1953 The Compositions of Al Cohn Miles Davis 1
1954 Blue Haze Miles Davis 4 6
1954 Walkin' Miles Davis 5
1955 Blue Moods Miles Davis 5
1955 Miles Davis and Milt Jackson Quintet/Sextet Miles Davis 8
1955 The Musings of Miles Miles Davis 7
1956 Collectors' Items Miles Davis 4
1956 Dig Miles Davis feat. Sonny Rollins 8
1956 Miles Davis and Horns Miles Davis 6
1957 ’Round About Midnight Miles Davis 5 10
1957 Bags' Groove Miles Davis 4 11
1957 Miles Ahead Miles Davis 11
1958 Milestones Miles Davis 14
1958 Porgy and Bess Miles Davis 3 13
1959 Miles Davis and the Modern Jazz Giants Miles Davis 7
1959 Kind of Blue Miles Davis 4.6 36
1960 Sketches of Spain Miles Davis 3.65 21
1963 Quiet Nights Miles Davis 7
1963 Seven Steps to Heaven Miles Davis 6
1965 E.S.P. Miles Davis 6
1967 Odyssey! Miles Davis 1
1967 Sorcerer Miles Davis 9
1968 Miles in the Sky Miles Davis 6
1968 Nefertiti Miles Davis 9
1969 Filles de Kilimanjaro Miles Davis 8
1969 In a Silent Way Miles Davis 9
1970 Bitches Brew Miles Davis 4.8 20
1972 On the Corner Miles Davis 4 9
1974 Big Fun Miles Davis 3
1974 Get Up With It Miles Davis 4
1976 Water Babies Miles Davis 3
1981 The Man with the Horn Miles Davis 5
1983 Star People Miles Davis 3
1984 Decoy Miles Davis 4 4
1985 You're Under Arrest Miles Davis 5
1986 Tutu Miles Davis 5 8
1988 Concierto de Aranjuez Miles Davis & Gil Evans 2
1989 Amandla Miles Davis 6
1989 Aura Miles Davis 1
1990 Nonet 1948 / Jam 1949 Miles Davis 1
1992 Doo-Bop Miles Davis 3
1996 Members Edition Miles Davis 1
2000 Blue Miles Miles Davis 1
2001 More Cookin' at the Plugged Nickel Miles Davis 1
2001 Conception Miles Davis 1
2001 Early Miles Miles Davis 1
2001 Miles Davis Miles Davis 1
2003 Four Miles Davis 1
2005 Night in Tunisia Miles Davis 1
2007 Original Album Classics ('Round About Midnight / Milestones / '58 Sessions / Porgy & Bess / Miles Ahead) (incomplete) Miles Davis 1
2008 Live at Birdland 1951 - 1953 Miles Davis 1
2008 Miles Davis And The Modern Jazz Giants Miles Davis 1
2009 Miles Davis Quartet Miles Davis 1
2009 Somethin' Else / Selections from '1958 Miles' Miles Davis 1
2011 Miles Davis Quartet Miles Davis 1
2016 Everything's Beautiful Miles Davis & Robert Glasper 4
Birth of a Leader Miles Davis 1
Bye Bye Blackbird Miles Davis 1
Conceptions Miles Davis 1
Cool Blues Miles Davis 1
Cool Miles Miles Davis 1
Gemini Miles Davis 1
Masqualero Miles Davis 1
Miles Davis Miles Davis 1
Miles Davis with Charlie Parker and Thelonious Monk Miles Davis 1
Miles Davis with John Coltrane Miles Davis with John Coltrane 1
Moon Dreams Miles Davis 1
My Funny Valentine Miles Davis 1
No (More) Blues Miles Davis 1
Ornithology Miles Davis 1
The Jazz... Miles Davis 1
The King of Priests Miles Davis 1
The Real Birth of the Cool Miles Davis 1
The Trumpet Player Miles Davis 1
This is Miles! Vol.2 Electric Side Miles Davis 1
Trumpet Man Miles Davis 1
Walkin' Miles Davis 1
Walkin' With Miles Miles Davis 1

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1953 Miles Davis, Volume 1 Miles Davis 4
1954 Miles Davis, Volume 3 Miles Davis 1
1956 Conception Miles Davis, Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan, Lee Konitz, Sonny Rollins & Zoot Sims 1
1956 Miles Davis, Volume 2 Miles Davis 3
1957 Birth of the Cool Miles Davis 4 8
1972 Tallest Trees Miles Davis 1
1973 Basic Miles: The Classic Performances of Miles Davis Miles Davis 1
1975 Bird & Miles Charlie Parker & Miles Davis 1
1975 Dig Miles Davis 1
1979 1958 Miles Miles Davis 6
1979 Circle in the Round Miles Davis 3
1981 Directions: Unreleased Recordings 1960-1970 Miles Davis 3.5 3
1986 1 hour with Miles Davis Miles Davis 1
1987 Chronicle: The Complete Prestige Recordings (1951-1956) Miles Davis 1
1988 Bopping the Blues Miles Davis 1
1988 Miles & Coltrane Miles Davis & John Coltrane 3
1988 Old Devil Moon Miles Davis 1
1988 The CBS Years (1955-1985) Miles Davis 1
1988 The Columbia Years (1955-1985) Miles Davis 1
1988 The Legendary Masters: Unissued or Rare: 1948–60 Miles Davis 1

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