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 trumpeter, bandleader, and composer. He is among the most influential and acclaimed figures in the history of jazz and 20th-century music. Davis adopted a variety of musical directions in a five-decade career that kept him at the forefront of many major stylistic developments in jazz.

Born in Alton, Illinois, and raised in East St. Louis, Davis left to study at Juilliard in New York City, before dropping out and making his professional debut as a member of saxophonist Charlie Parker's bebop quintet from 1944 to 1948. Shortly after, he recorded the Birth of the Cool sessions for Capitol Records, which were instrumental to the development of cool jazz. In the early 1950s, Davis 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, he signed a long-term contract with Columbia Records and recorded the album 'Round About Midnight in 1955. 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 recording remains one of the most popular jazz albums of all time, having sold over five million copies in the U.S.

Davis made several line-up changes while recording Someday My Prince Will Come (1961), his 1961 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 experimented with rock, funk, African rhythms, emerging electronic music technology, and an ever-changing line-up of musicians, including keyboardist Joe Zawinul, drummer Al Foster, and guitarist John McLaughlin. This period, beginning with Davis's 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 resumed his career in the 1980s, employing younger musicians and pop sounds on albums such as The Man with the Horn (1981) and Tutu (1986). Critics were often unreceptive but the decade garnered Davis his highest level of commercial recognition. He performed sold-out concerts worldwide, while branching out into visual arts, film, and television work, before his death in 1991 from the combined effects of a stroke, pneumonia and respiratory failure. In 2006, Davis 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 him as "the most revered jazz trumpeter of all time, not to mention one of the most important musicians of the 20th century," while Gerald Early called him inarguably one of the most influential and innovative musicians of that period.

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1951The New SoundsMiles Davis51
1952Young Man With a HornMiles Davis54
1953Blue PeriodMiles Davis31
1953Miles Davis, Vol. 2 (BLP 5022)Miles Davis1
1953The Compositions of Al CohnMiles Davis1
1955Blue MoodsMiles Davis49
1955Miles Davis and Milt Jackson Quintet/SextetMiles Davis9
1956Collectors’ ItemsMiles Davis46
1956DigMiles Davis featuring Sonny Rollins312
1957’Round About MidnightMiles Davis4.6520
1957Bags’ GrooveMiles Davis4.6512
1957Miles AheadMiles Davis4.516
1958Blue HazeMiles Davis48
1958Jazz TrackMiles Davis3
1958MilestonesMiles Davis4.519
1958Porgy and BessMiles Davis4.418
1959Miles Davis and the Modern Jazz GiantsMiles Davis510
1959Kind of BlueMiles Davis4.5108
1960Sketches of SpainMiles Davis436
1963Quiet NightsMiles Davis3.510
1963Seven Steps to HeavenMiles Davis49
1965E.S.P.Miles Davis4.3513
1967SorcererMiles Davis3.512
1968Miles in the SkyMiles Davis411
1968NefertitiMiles Davis4.2513
1969Filles de KilimanjaroMiles Davis4.359
1969In a Silent WayMiles Davis4.619
1970Bitches BrewMiles Davis4.934
1972On the CornerMiles Davis4.3512
1974Big FunMiles Davis47
1974Get Up With ItMiles Davis3.857
1974Quiet NightsMiles Davis1
1976Water BabiesMiles Davis34
1981The Man With the HornMiles Davis37
1983Star PeopleMiles Davis36
1984DecoyMiles Davis35
1985You’re Under ArrestMiles Davis210
1986TutuMiles Davis312
1989AmandlaMiles Davis3.359
1989AuraMiles Davis3
1992Doo-BopMiles Davis45
20091957-58 - Legrand Jazz & Ascenseur pour l`echafaud (with Michel Legrand)Michel Legrand & Miles Davis1
2013PangaeaMiles Davis1
2019RubberbandMiles Davis2
2021Champions (Rare Miles From The Complete Jack Johnson Sessions)Miles Davis1

Album + Compilation

1952Dizzy Gillespie and Modern TrumpetsDizzy Gillespie And Modern Trumpets, Fats Navarro, Miles Davis, Howard McGhee1
1954Vol. 3Miles Davis2
1955Miles Davis, Volume 1Miles Davis6
1956Miles Davis, Volume 2 (BLP 1502)Miles Davis7
1956ConceptionMiles Davis, Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan, Lee Konitz, Sonny Rollins & Zoot Sims4
1956Miles Davis and HornsMiles Davis7
1957Birth of the CoolMiles Davis418
1965Plays for LoversMiles Davis3
1966Mode StudyMiles Davis1
1969Miles Davis’ Greatest HitsMiles Davis5
1972Tallest TreesMiles Davis1
1973Basic Miles: The Classic Performances of Miles DavisMiles Davis1
1973The Essential Miles DavisMiles Davis1
1975DigMiles Davis1
19773 Géants du JazzCharlie Parker - Miles Davis - Dizzy Gillespie1
19791958 MilesMiles Davis411
1979Circle in the RoundMiles Davis3
1981Directions: Unreleased Recordings 1960-1970Miles Davis3.53
1983Greatest Jazz Recordings of All Time: Great Jazz InventorsDavis, Mingus & Monk1
19861 Hour With Miles DavisMiles Davis1
1986Miles Davis and the Jazz GiantsMiles Davis3
1987Chronicle: The Complete Prestige Recordings (1951–1956)Miles Davis1
1988Bopping the BluesMiles Davis1
1988BalladsMiles Davis2
1988Evolution of a Genius: Miles Davis 1945 - 1954Miles Davis3
1988Green HazeMiles Davis1
1988Miles & ColtraneMiles Davis & John Coltrane3
1988Moon DreamsMiles Davis1
1988Old Devil MoonMiles Davis1
1988The Columbia Years 1955–1985Miles Davis2
1988The Legendary Masters: Unissued or Rare: 1948–60Miles Davis1
1989Compact Jazz: Miles DavisMiles Davis2
1989Evolution of a Genius: Miles Davis 1945 - 1958Miles Davis1
1989The Real Birth of the CoolMiles Davis31
1990Evolution of a Genius 1954-1956Miles Davis1
1990Evolution of a Genius: Miles Davis 1957 - 1958Miles Davis2
1990Miles Davis Plays Classic BalladsMiles Davis2
1990Miles Davis, Volume 2Miles Davis1
1990Nonet 1948 / Jam 1949Miles Davis1
1990The CollectionMiles Davis1
1991First MilesMiles Davis1
1991The Essence of Miles DavisMiles Davis1
1991All BluesMiles Davis1
1991Big FunMiles Davis1
1991Miles Davis StoryMiles Davis3
1991Quintet and SextetMiles Davis1
1992The Best of Miles Davis: The Capitol/Blue Note YearsMiles Davis3
1992Mellow MilesMiles Davis1
1992The Best of Miles DavisMiles Davis2
1992The Ballad Artistry of Miles DavisMiles Davis1
1992The Miles Davis Gold CollectionMiles Davis1
1992Tune UpMiles Davis1
199315 Reflective RecordingsMiles Davis1
1993Autumn LeavesMiles Davis1
1993Blue HazeMiles Davis1

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