Miles Davis

Miles Davis, 1926–91, American jazz musician, b. Alton, Ill. Rising to prominence with the birth of modern jazz in the mid-1940s, when he was a sideman in Charlie Parker's bop quintet, Davis became a dominant force in jazz trumpet. He was influential in the development of "cool" jazz in 1949–50, led numerous outstanding small groups through the 1950s and 60s, and produced a successful blend of jazz and rock music in the 1970s and 80s. Davis's trumpet and flügelhorn styles were warmly lyrical and were marked by a brilliant use of mutes. He made many recordings, which reflect his stylistic changes; Kind of Blue (1959), a landmark of modal jazz, has been a best-seller since it was issued.

See Miles: The Autobiography (1989, with Q. Troupe); biographies by I. Carr (1982), J. Chambers (2 vol., 1983–85), B. McRae (1988), and J. Szwed (2002); Q. Troupe, Miles and Me (2000).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Miles and Me
Quincy Troupe.
University of California Press, 2000
Jazz: A History
Frank Tirro.
W. W. Norton, 1993 (2nd edition)
Librarian’s tip: "Modal Jazz--Miles Davis and Kind of Blue" begins on p. 354, "Out in Front--Miles Davis in the 60s and 70s" begins on p. 391, and "Fusion and Miles Davis" begins on p. 441
The History of Jazz
Ted Gioia.
Oxford University Press, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Includes discussion of Miles Davis in multiple chapters
Keeping Time: Readings in Jazz History
Robert Walser.
Oxford University Press, 1999
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 56 "Miles Davis Speaks His Mind"
Prince of Darkness
Santoro, Gene.
The Nation, Vol. 253, No. 16, November 11, 1991
The Cowboy and the Dandy: Crossing over from Romanticism to Rock and Roll
Perry Meisel.
Oxford University Press, 1999
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 7 "Miles Apart?"
Uptown Conversation: The New Jazz Studies
Robert G. O'Meally; Brent Hayes Edwards; Farah Jasmine Griffin.
Columbia University Press, 2004
Librarian’s tip: "The Man" begins on p. 166
Twentieth-Century Brass Soloists
Michael Meckna.
Greenwood Press, 1994
Librarian’s tip: "Davis, Miles [DEWEY, III]" begins on p. 63
Jazz and Pop, Youth and Middle Age like Young
Francis Davis.
Da Capo Press, 2001
Librarian’s tip: "The Sound of One Finger Snapping (Miles Davis and Kind of Blue" begins on p. 66
Jazz: Its Evolution and Essence
André Hodeir; David Noakes.
Grove Press, 1956
Librarian’s tip: Chap. VIII "Miles Davis and the Cool Tendency"
Highway 61 Revisited: The Tangled Roots of American Jazz, Blues, and Country Music
Gene Santoro.
Oxford University Press, 2004
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 7 "Miles Davis"
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