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. 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 and raised in Illinois, Davis left his studies at The Juilliard School in New York City and made 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 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-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 four 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' 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 generally unreceptive but the decade garnered the trumpeter 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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Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
Miles Davis Quintet, 1965-’68 Miles Davis 1
My Funny Valentine Miles Davis 1
Now's the Time Miles Davis 1
Ornithology Miles Davis 1
September Song Miles Davis 1
SimplyMilesDavis Miles Davis 1
Some Blue Sketches of Miles Miles Davis 1
Takin' Miles Davis 1
The Best Of Miles Davis 1
The Blue Note Years Miles Davis 1
The Collection: A Retrospective Miles Davis 1
The Essence of Miles Davis Miles Davis 1
The Giant of Jazz Miles Davis 1
The Jazz… Miles Davis 1
The Savoy Recordings Charlie Parker with Miles Davis 1
The World of Miles Davis Miles Davis 1
Tune Up Miles Davis 1
Walkin' Miles Davis 1

Album + Compilation + Live

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1991 The Best Live Miles Davis 1
2006 The Complete Live Recordings 1948-1955 Miles Davis 1
2012 Live at the Plugged Nickel. 22-23 December 1965 Miles Davis 1

Album + Compilation + Soundtrack

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
Nouvelle Vague on CD Miles Davis / Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers 1

Album + Live

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1960 Miles Davis en concert avec Europe 1 Miles Davis 1
1961 In Person: Friday Night at the Blackhawk, San Francisco, Volume 1 Miles Davis 2
1961 In Person: Saturday Night at the Blackhawk Miles Davis 2
1961 In Person: Saturday Night at the Blackhawk, San Francisco, Volume 2 Miles Davis 3
1962 Miles Davis at Carnegie Hall Miles Davis 4
1964 Miles Davis in Europe Miles Davis 4 3
1965 Miles in Berlin Miles Davis 4
1965 My Funny Valentine: Miles Davis in Concert Miles Davis 4 8
1969 Miles in Tokyo Miles Davis 3
1970 Miles Davis at Fillmore Miles Davis 4 2
1971 Live Miles Davis + Keith Jarrett 1
1971 Live‐Evil Miles Davis 5 4
1973 Black Beauty: Miles Davis at Fillmore West Miles Davis 5 3
1974 Dark Magus: Live at Carnegie Hall Miles Davis 4 6
1975 Agharta Miles Davis 5 11
1975 Pangaea Miles Davis 5 3
1977 Four & More Miles Davis 5
1982 We Want Miles Miles Davis 3 4
1985 Live in Stockholm 1960 Miles Davis & John Coltrane 2
1987 Cookin’ at the Plugged Nickel Miles Davis 3
1987 Live Miles: More Music From the Legendary Carnegie Hall Concert Miles Davis 3
1988 Konserthuset, Stockholm, March 22, 1960 Miles Davis & John Coltrane 1
1989 Live at Montreux Jazz Festival Miles Davis 1
1989 Miles in Antibes Miles Davis 2
1990 Jazz at the Plaza Miles Davis 1
1991 Round Midnight Miles Davis 4
1992 From His Last Concert in Avignon Miles Davis 3
1992 Our Delight Miles Davis / Jimmy Forrest 1
1993 Miles & Quincy Live at Montreux Miles Davis & Quincy Jones 4
1993 1969 Miles - Festiva De Juan Pins Miles Davis 2
1993 Time After Time Miles Davis 1
1994 En concert avec Europe 1 : 11 juillet 1973 à l'Olympia Miles Davis 2
1994 Live in New York Miles Davis & John Coltrane 1
1995 In Stockholm 1960 Complete Miles Davis & John Coltrane 1
1995 The Complete Live at The Plugged Nickel 1965 Miles Davis 1
1995 Highlights from the Plugged Nickel Miles Davis 1
1996 Live at the Barrel Jimmy Forrest & Miles Davis 1
1996 Live Around the World Miles Davis 2
1996 The Birdland Sessions Miles Davis 1
1997 In Concert: Live at Philharmonic Hall Miles Davis 2 1
1997 On Green Dolphin Street Miles Davis & John Coltrane 2
1999 Olympia 11 Octobre 1960 Miles Davis 2
2000 Chasin' the Bird Miles Davis 1
2000 Complete Birdland Recordings Miles Davis 1
2000 Live at the Hi-Hat/Boston Miles Davis 1
2001 At Newport 1958 Miles Davis 2
2001 Another Bitches Brew, Two Concerts in Belgrade Miles Davis 2
2001 More Cookin’ at the Plugged Nickel Miles Davis 1
2001 Live at the Fillmore East (March 7, 1970): It's About That Time Miles Davis 4 3
2002 Olympia - Mar. 21st, 1960 Miles Davis featuring John Coltrane 1
2002 Highlights from the Complete Miles Davis at Montreux Miles Davis 1
2002 The Complete Miles Davis at Montreux: 1973-1991 Miles Davis 1
2003 In Person - Friday Night at the Blackhawk, San Francisco, Complete, Volume 1 (Vol. 1 (in 2 cd) is the complete Friday session) Miles Davis 1
2003 In Person: Friday and Saturday Nights at the Blackhawk, Complete Miles Davis 5
2003 Complete Performances With the Lighthouse All-Stars Chet Baker & Miles Davis 1
2003 In Person, Friday Night At The Blackhawk, San Francisco, Complete (Volume II) Miles Davis 1
2004 Birdland 1951 Miles Davis 3 1
2005 With Sonny Stitt, Olympia, Oct. 11th, 1960 / With John Coltrane, Olympia, Mar. 21st, 1960 Miles Davis 1
2005 Munich Concert Miles Davis 1
2005 The Cellar Door Sessions 1970 Miles Davis 5 2
2006 European Tour '56: With the Modern Jazz Quartet & Lester Young Miles Davis 1
2008 Winter in Europe 1967 Miles Davis 1
2008 Live at Birdland 1951 - 1953 Miles Davis 1
2009 Isle Of Wight Miles Davis 1
2010 Live in Rome and Copenhagen 1969 Miles Davis 1
2010 Warsaw Concert 1983 Miles Davis 1
2011 Bitches Brew Live Miles Davis 2
2011 On the Crest of the Airwaves Miles Davis 1
2013 So What - The Complete 1960 Amsterdam Concerts Miles Davis 1
2013 North Sea Jazz Legendary Concerts Miles Davis 1
2014 Miles Davis at Carnegie Hall Miles Davis 1
2014 Miles at the Fillmore Miles Davis 5 2
2014 Miles Davis at Newport: 1955-1975: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 4 Miles Davis 1
2014 The Complete 1960 Holland Concerts Miles Davis 1
2018 The Final Tour: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 6 Miles Davis & John Coltrane 1
Cote Blues Miles Davis 1
Live in Europe 88 Miles Davis 1
Live in Sindelfingen, 1964 Miles Davis 1

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