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I’m Feeling George Duke Tonight. R.I.P. Mr. Duke.


 

By Jueseppi B.

cd-cover

 

 

What can I tell you about George Duke that you don’t already know? He’s an icon in the music industry…known as a keyboard pioneer, composer, singer and producer in both jazz and popular mainstream musical genres. Enjoy!!

 

George Duke - Guess You’re Not The One / Smooth Jazz.wmv

 

 

 

 

George Duke ft Eric Benet Superwoman

 

 

 

 

George Duke “A Melody”

 

 

 

 

SWEET BABY – Stanley ClarkeGeorge Duke

 

 

 

 

George Duke – Right On Time

 

 

 

 

George Duke – I Tried To Tell You

 

 

 

 

TSOP ’87 – (Soul Train Theme No. 10: 1987–1989) – George Duke –For Discos Only

 

 

 

 

George Duke - DreamWeaver

 

 

 

George Duke

George Duke was an American musician, known as a keyboard pioneer, composer, singer and producer in both jazz and popular mainstream musical genres.

 

Born: January 12, 1946, San Rafael, CA

 

Died: August 5, 2013, Los Angeles, CA

 

 

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JazzWSax

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George Duke, Legendary Jazz Keyboardist, Dies At Age 67


 

By Jueseppi B.

george-duke

 

 

George Duke, the legendary jazz keyboardist, died on Monday, his publicist tells NPR.

 

Duke’s career spanned five decades and he always straddled the line between disparate genres, collaborating with artists such as Miles Davis, Barry Manilow, Frank Zappa, George Clinton and some of Brazil’s top musicians.

 

 

George Duke - DreamWeaver

 

 

 

OUT OF DEVASTATING PAIN COMES DREAMWEAVER FROM KEYBOARDIST/COMPOSER/ARRANGER/PRODUCER GEORGE DUKE.

 

Out of devastating pain comes DreamWeaver, the new disc, which GRAMMY Award-winning keyboardist/composer/arranger/producer George Duke considers his “most honest album in several years.” The making of DreamWeaver occurred after his wife, Corine, passed away. Struck with grief, he found it difficult to work during that period. “I didn’t feel like creating any music, which was odd, because normally that’s the easiest thing for me to do,” he says, “Sometimes, I would walk into the studio and say, ‘Nah. It’s not going to happen.’”

 

Duke’s mojo returned while on a Capital Cruise. During the first couple of days, he didn’t play any music, but did check out some of the other bands. “By the third day, something happened,” he remembers. After returning to his cabin around 4 a.m. from listening to music, inspiration ignited. “I went back on the deck and watched the sun come up. A couple of songs started coming to me; I got out my pen and paper, and started writing.”

 

With the assistance of an illustrious cast of musicians that includes bassists Christian McBride and Stanley Clarke; singers Teena Marie, Lalah Hathaway, Rachelle Ferrell, and Jeffrey Osborne; guitarist Paul Jackson, Jr. and the late Jef Lee Johnson; among others, DreamWeaver, set for release July 16, 2013 on Heads Up International, a division of Concord Music Group, finds Duke emphasizing more instrumentals than in the past as well as concentrating more on his mastery on various synthesizers.

 

Like the bulk of Duke’s discography, DreamWeaver accentuates eclecticism with 15 tracks that range from swinging jazz and sweat funk to gospel-inflected pop and sensual R&B ballads. As the title implies, Duke likens mixing all of the idioms to weaving a sonic fabric. He also compares that stylistic dynamism to life. “Everything is in transition — from hot to cold, from life to death,” he philosophizes, “I wanted to incorporate that kind of thing and include a lot of things that are a part of my life.”

 

The disc begins and ends with allusions of nothingness, starting with the title track, a sparse etude, and finishes with “Happy Trails,” a misty ballad that was at first just dedicated to Duke’s wife, but later gained more emotional poignancy because of the sudden passing of Johnson, whose distinctive guitar work fades out the conclusion.

 

In between, the disc unfolds with the evocative, mid-tempo modern jazz composition, “Stones of Orion,” showcasing Duke’s crystalline piano improvisations along with longtime collaborator Clarke on upright bass; the feisty 15-minute workout, “Burnt Sausage Jam,” a track that Duke refurbished from his 2002 Facing the Music sessions with Johnson, McBride, and drummer Lil’ John Roberts; the frisky gangster-leaning groover, “Round the Way Girl;” the feet-friendly burner, “Jazzmatazz;” and the heartfelt ballad, “Missing You,” another direct tribute to Duke’s wife.

 

“I don’t want people to get the idea that this is a morbid record, because it’s more about celebration,” Duke said.

 

 

GeorgeDukeDukeyTreats

 

 

George Duke & Band – You Touch My Brain

 

 

 

 

George Duke - Dukey Stick (in the studio 1978) w/- Sheila E

 

 

 

 

The Billy Cobham - George Duke Band 1976 Montreux Jazz Festival

 

Published on May 17, 2013

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George Duke R.I.P.
12. Januar 1946 in San Rafael, Kalifornien
† 5. August 2013 in Los Angeles

 

 

 

 

George Duke @ Java Jazz Festival 2010

 

Uploaded on Dec 12, 2010

George is an attraction on its own for the Jazz – R&B – Straight Ahead even Pop enthousiast in Jakarta and the World.
Here is a small preview of George as he might perform in “HARMONY UNDER ONE NATION – THE REMARKABLE INDONESIA” at the Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival 2011. Enjoy…!!!

 

 

 

 

TheRealFredHammond TheRealFredHammond

 

I Remember George – Tribute to George Duke

 

Published on Aug 6, 2013

To wake up this morning in hear that we lost the legendary George Duke felt as if I lost one of my favorite uncles. To even put this note together is distressing at best. I learned of Unc when I was a kid in junior high. The first album I heard was the George Duke Billy Cobham project. I remember the album cover…it was both of their heads connected to a pair of hands. The album cover was unique but the album was extraordinary. Then there was Uncle George and Uncle Stanley Clarke. These two set the foundation of jazz in my life. I met him a few years ago on the capital jazz cruise and we clicked instantly. After that we hung out a few times and kind of stayed in touch.

 

George Duke personified the ultimate in straight ahead smooth jazz and the funk! The saddest thing to me is that one of my next two albums was going to include a George Duke/Fred Hammond praise & worship CD. Heartbroken is an understatement. I’ve only done one jazz album and it was a tribute to some of the most influential jazz artists in my life. This song called “I Remember George” from my Grandad Turner album.

 

 

 

 

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The Year Of My Birth (1959) In Jazz


 

By Jueseppi B.

 

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John Coltrane - Giant Steps (Album:Giant Steps) 1959

 

 

 

 

 

Take Five – The Dave Brubeck Quartet (1959)

 

 

 

 

 

Ornette Coleman - The Shape Of Jazz To Come (Full Album HD) Jazz

 

 

 

 

 

Miles Davis - Kind Of Blue (Full Album) (Full HD 1080p) Jazz HQ Sound

 

 

 

 

 

Dave Pike Blind Man Blind Man

 

 

 

 

 

The Modern Jazz Quartet (Mosaic Records)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Black History Moment: Charles “Charlie” “Bird” Parker, Jr.


 

By Jueseppi B.

 

bird

 

 

 

Charles “Charlie” Parker, Jr. (August 29, 1920 – March 12, 1955), also known as “Yardbird”and “Bird”, was an American jazz saxophonist and composer. Miles Davis once said, “You can tell the history of jazz in four words: Louis Armstrong. Charlie Parker.”

 

Parker acquired the nickname “Yardbird” early in his career and the shortened form, “Bird”, which continued to be used for the rest of his life, inspired the titles of a number of Parker compositions, such as “Yardbird Suite“, “Ornithology“, “Bird Gets the Worm“, and “Bird of Paradise.”

 

Parker was a highly influential jazz soloist and a leading figure in the development of bebop,a form of jazz characterized by fast tempos, virtuosic technique, and improvisation. Parker introduced revolutionary harmonic ideas, including rapid passing chords, new variants of altered chords, and chord substitutions. His tone ranged from clean and penetrating to sweet and somber. Many Parker recordings demonstrate his virtuoso playing style and complex melodic lines, sometimes combining jazz with other musical genres, including bluesLatin, and classical.

 

Parker was an icon for the hipster subculture and later the Beat Generation, personifying the jazz musician as an uncompromising artist and intellectual, rather than an entertainer.

 

 

 

Background information
Birth name Charles Parker, Jr.
Also known as Bird, Yardbird,
Zoizeau (in France)
Born August 29, 1920
Kansas CityKansas,

United States

Died March 12, 1955 (aged 34)
New York CityNew York,

United States

Genres Jazzbebop
Occupations Saxophonistcomposer
Instruments Alto saxophone,

tenor saxophone

Years active 1937–1955
Labels SavoyDialVerve
Associated acts Miles DavisMax Roach
Website www.cmgww.com/

music/parker/

Notable instruments
BuescherConnKing and Grafton

alto saxophones

 

 

 

Charlie_Parker_and_strings_at_Birdland_1951_Marcel_Fleiss_Large_AG

 

 

 

Childhood

Charlie Parker was born in Kansas CityKansas, and raised in Kansas CityMissouri, the only child of Charles and Addie Parker. Parker attended Lincoln High School. He enrolled in September 1934 and withdrew in December 1935, just before joining the local Musicians Union.

 

Parker began playing the saxophone at age 11, and at age 14 joined his school’s band using a rented school instrument. His father, Charles, was often absent but provided some musical influence; he was a pianist, dancer and singer on the T.O.B.A. circuit. He later became a Pullman waiter or chef on the railways. Parker’s mother Addie worked nights at the local Western Union office. His biggest influence at that time was a young trombone player who taught him the basics of improvisation.

 

 

Early career

In the late 1930′s Parker began to practice diligently. During this period he mastered improvisation and developed some of the ideas that led to bebop. In an interview with Paul Desmond, he said that he spent 3–4 years practicing up to 15 hours a day.

 

Bands led by Count Basie and Bennie Moten undoubtedly influenced Parker. He played with local bands in jazz clubs around Kansas City, Missouri, where he perfected his technique, with the assistance of Buster Smith, whose dynamic transitions to double and triple time influenced Parker’s developing style.

 

In 1938, Parker joined pianist Jay McShann‘s territory band. The band toured nightclubs and other venues of the southwest, as well as Chicago and New York City. Parker made his professional recording debut with McShann’s band.

 

As a teenager, Parker developed a morphine addiction while in the hospital, after an automobile accident, and subsequently became addicted to heroin. He continued using heroin throughout his life, which ultimately contributed to his death.

 

 

 

435px-Charlie_Parker,_Tommy_Potter,_Miles_Davis,_Max_Roach_(Gottlieb_06941)

Charlie Parker with Tommy PotterMax Roach and Miles Davis at Three Deuces, New York, NY

 

 

 

New York City

In 1939 Parker moved to New York City, to pursue a career in music. He held several other jobs as well. He worked for nine dollars a week as a dishwasher at Jimmie’s Chicken Shack, where pianist Art Tatum performed.

 

In 1942 Parker left McShann’s band and played with Earl Hines for one year, whose band included Dizzy Gillespie, who later played with Parker as a duo. Unfortunately, this period is virtually undocumented, due to the strike of 1942–1943 by the American Federation of Musicians, during which time few recordings were made. Parker joined a group of young musicians, and played in after-hours clubs in Harlem, such as Clark Monroe’s Uptown House and Minton’s Playhouse. These young iconoclasts included Gillespie, pianist Thelonious Monk, guitarist Charlie Christian, and drummer Kenny Clarke. The beboppers’ attitude was summed up in a famous quotation attributed to Monk by Mary Lou Williams: “We wanted a music that they couldn’t play” – “they” being the white bandleaders who had usurped and profited from swing music. The group played in venues on 52nd Street, including Three Deuces and The Onyx. While in New York City, Parker studied with his music teacher, Maury Deutsch.

 

 

The Original Bird – The Best Of Charlie Parker 1944 – 1949

 

Parker was a highly influential jazz soloist and a leading figure in the development of bebop, a form of jazz characterized by fast tempos, virtuosic technique, and improvisation. Parker introduced revolutionary harmonic ideas, including rapid passing chords, new variants of altered chords, and chord substitutions. His tone ranged from clean and penetrating to sweet and somber. Many Parker recordings demonstrate virtuosic technique and complex melodic lines, sometimes combining jazz with other musical genres, including blues, Latin, and classical.

 

 

 

 

 

Bebop

According to an interview Parker gave in the 1950′s, one night in 1939, he was playing “Cherokee” in a jam session with guitarist William “Biddy” Fleet when he hit upon a method for developing his solos that enabled one of his main musical innovations. He realized that the twelve tones of the chromatic scale can lead melodically to any key, breaking some of the confines of simpler jazz soloing.

 

Early in its development, this new type of jazz was rejected by many of the established, traditional jazz musicians who disdained their younger counterparts. The beboppers responded by calling these traditionalists “moldy figs“. However, some musicians, such as Coleman Hawkins and Benny Goodman, were more positive about its development, and participated in jam sessions and recording dates in the new approach with its adherents.

 

Because of the two-year Musicians’ Union ban of all commercial recordings from 1942 to 1944, much of bebop’s early development was not captured for posterity. As a result, it gained limited radio exposure. Bebop musicians had a difficult time gaining widespread recognition. It was not until 1945, when the recording ban was lifted, that Parker’s collaborations with Dizzy GillespieMax RoachBud Powell and others had a substantial effect on the jazz world. One of their first (and greatest) small-group performances together was rediscovered and issued in 2005: a concert in New York’s Town Hall on June 22, 1945. Bebop soon gained wider appeal among musicians and fans alike.

 

On November 26, 1945, Parker led a record date for the Savoy label, marketed as the “greatest Jazz session ever.” Recording as Charlie Parker’s Reboppers, Parker enlisted such sidemen as Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis on trumpet, Curly Russell on bass and Max Roach on drums. The tracks recorded during this session include “Ko-Ko“, “Billie’s Bounce” and “Now’s the Time“.

 

Shortly afterwards, the Parker/Gillespie band traveled to an unsuccessful engagement at Billy Berg‘s club in Los Angeles. Most of the group returned to New York, but Parker remained in California, cashing in his return ticket to buy heroin. He experienced great hardship in California, eventually being committed to Camarillo State Mental Hospital for a six-month period.

 

 

Addiction

Parker’s chronic addiction to heroin caused him to miss gigs and lose work. He frequently resorted to busking on the streets, receiving loans from fellow musicians and admirers, and pawning his saxophones for drug money. Heroin use was rampant in the jazz scene and the drug could be acquired easily.

 

Although he produced many brilliant recordings during this period, Parker’s behavior became increasingly erratic. Heroin was difficult to obtain when he moved to California, where the drug was less abundant, and Parker began to drink heavily to compensate for it. A recording for the Dial label from July 29, 1946, provides evidence of his condition. Prior to this session, Parker drank a quart of whiskey. According to the liner notes of Charlie Parker on Dial Volume 1, Parker missed most of the first two bars of his first chorus on the track, “Max Making Wax.” When he finally did come in, he swayed wildly and once spun all the way around, away from his microphone.

 

On the next tune, “Lover Man“, producer Ross Russell physically supported Parker. On “Bebop” (the final track Parker recorded that evening) he begins a solo with a solid first eight bars. On his second eight bars, however, Parker begins to struggle, and a desperate Howard McGhee, the trumpeter on this session, shouts, “Blow!” at Parker. Charles Mingus considered this version of “Lover Man” to be among Parker’s greatest recordings, despite its flaws. Nevertheless, Parker hated the recording and never forgave Ross Russell for releasing it. He re-recorded the tune in 1951 for Verve.

 

When Parker was released from the hospital, he was clean and healthy, and proceeded to do some of the best playing and recording of his career. Before leaving California, he recorded “Relaxin’ at Camarillo”, in reference to his hospital stay. He returned to New York, resumed his addiction to heroin and recorded dozens of sides for the Savoy and Dial labels, which remain some of the high points of his recorded output. Many of these were with his so-called “classic quintet” including trumpeter Miles Davis and drummer Max Roach.

 

 

 

Charlie Parker with Strings

A longstanding desire of Parker’s was to perform with a string section. He was a keen student of classical music, and contemporaries reported he was most interested in the music and formal innovations of Igor Stravinsky and longed to engage in a project akin to what later became known as Third Stream, a new kind of music, incorporating both jazz and classical elements as opposed to merely incorporating a string section into performance of jazz standards.

 

On November 30, 1949, Norman Granz arranged for Parker to record an album of ballads with a mixed group of jazz and chamber orchestra musicians. Six master takes from this session comprised the album Charlie Parker with Strings: “Just Friends“, “Everything Happens to Me“, “April in Paris“, “Summertime“, “I Didn’t Know What Time It Was“, and “If I Should Lose You“. The sound of these recordings is rare in Parker’s catalog. Parker’s improvisations are, in comparison to his usual work, more distilled and economical. His tone is darker and softer than on his small-group recordings, and the majority of his lines are beautiful embellishments on the original melodies rather than harmonically based improvisations.

 

 

 

Charlie Parker – Summertime (Jazz Instrumental)

 

 

 

These are among the few recordings Parker made during a brief period when he was able to control his heroin habit, and his sobriety and clarity of mind are evident in his playing. Parker stated that, of his own records, Bird With Strings was his favorite. Although using classical music instrumentation with jazz musicians was not entirely original, this was the first major work where a composer of bebop was matched with a string orchestra.

 

 

 

Jazz at Massey Hall

In 1953, Parker performed at Massey Hall in TorontoCanada, joined by Gillespie, Mingus, Bud Powell and Max Roach. Unfortunately, the concert clashed with a televised heavyweight boxing match between Rocky Marciano and Jersey Joe Walcott, so was poorly attended. Mingus recorded the concert, resulting in the album Jazz at Massey Hall. At this concert, he played a plastic Grafton saxophone. At this point in his career he was experimenting with new sounds and materials. Parker himself explained the purpose of the plastic saxophone in a May 9, 1953 broadcast from Birdland and does so again in subsequent May 1953 broadcast.

 

Parker is known to have played several saxophones, including the Conn 6M, The Martin Handicraft and Selmer Model 22. Parker is also known to have performed with a King “Super 20″ saxophone. Parker’s King Super 20 saxophone was made specially for him in 1947.

 

 

Death

 

Parker

 

 

 

Parker died in the suite of his friend and patron Baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarter at the Stanhope Hotel in New York City while watching The Dorsey Brothers‘ Stage Show on television. The official causes of death were lobar pneumonia and a bleeding ulcer but Parker also had an advanced case of cirrhosis and had suffered a heart attack. The coroner who performed his autopsy mistakenly estimated Parker’s 34-year-old body to be between 50 and 60 years of age.

 

Parker had been living since 1950 with Chan Richardson, the mother of his son Baird and his daughter Pree (who died as an infant of cystic fibrosis). He considered Chan his wife; however he never formally married her, nor did he divorce his previous wife, Doris (whom he had married in 1948). This complicated the settling of Parker’s inheritance and would ultimately serve to frustrate his wish to be quietly interred in New York City.

 

It was well known that Parker never wanted to return to Kansas City, even in death. Parker had told Chan that he did not want to be buried in the city of his birth; that New York was his home. Dizzy Gillespie paid for the funeral arrangements and organized a lying-in-state, a Harlem procession officiated by Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., as well as a memorial concert, before Parker’s body was flown back to Missouri, in accordance with his mother’s wishes. Parker’s widow criticized Parker’s family for giving him a Christian funeral even though they knew he was a confirmed atheist. Parker was buried at Lincoln Cemetery in Missouri, in a hamlet known as Blue Summit.

 

Parker’s estate is managed by CMG Worldwide.

 

 

Music

Parker’s style of composition involved interpolation of original melodies over pre-existing jazz forms and standards, a practice still common in jazz today. Examples include “Ornithology” (“How High The Moon“) and “Yardbird Suite“, the vocal version of which is called “What Price Love“, with lyrics by Parker. The practice was not uncommon prior to bebop; however, it became a signature of the movement as artists began to move away from arranging popular standards and compose their own material.

 

While tunes such as “Now’s The Time,” “Billie’s Bounce,” “Au Privave,” “Barbados,” “Relaxin’ at Camarillo,” “Bloomdido,” and “Cool Blues” were based on conventional twelve-bar blues changes, Parker also created a unique version of the 12-bar blues for tunes such as “Blues for Alice“, “Laird Baird”, and “Si Si”. These unique chords are known popularly as “Bird Changes“. Like his solos, some of his compositions are characterized by long, complex melodic lines and a minimum of repetition although he did employ the use of repetition in some tunes, most notably “Now’s The Time”.

 

Parker contributed greatly to the modern jazz solo, one in which triplets and pick-up notes were used in unorthodox ways to lead into chord tones, affording the soloist with more freedom to use passing tones, which soloists previously avoided. Parker was admired for his unique style of phrasing and innovative use of rhythm. Via his recordings and the popularity of the posthumously published Charlie Parker Omnibook, Parker’s uniquely identifiable style dominated jazz for many years to come.

 

 

Jazz The Charlie Parker Sessions (1950)

 

 

 

 

 

XBird_Lives_by_Robert_Graham

“Bird Lives” sculpture by Robert Graham in Kansas City, Missouri

 

 

 

Musical tributes

 

  • Lennie Tristano‘s overdubbed solo piano piece “Requiem” was recorded in tribute to Parker shortly after his death.
  • Street musician Moondog wrote his famous “Bird’s Lament” in his memory.
  • The Californian ensemble Supersax harmonized many of Parker’s improvisations for a five-piece saxophone section
  • Saxophonist Phil Woods recorded a tribute concert for Parker
  • Weather Report‘s jazz fusion track and highly acclaimed big band standard “Birdland“, from the Heavy Weather album (1977), was a dedication by bandleader Joe Zawinul to both Charlie Parker and the New York 52nd Street club itself
  • In 2003 various artists including Serj Tankian and Dan the Automator put out Bird Up: The Charlie Parker Remix Project. This album created new songs by remixing Charlie Parker’s originals.
  • The biographical song “Parker’s Band” was recorded by Steely Dan on its 1974 album Pretzel Logic.
  • The avant-garde trombonist George Lewis recorded Homage to Charles Parker (1979)
  • Sparks released the song “(When I Kiss You) I Hear Charlie Parker Playing” on their 1994 album Gratuitous Sax & Senseless Violins
  • Duane Allman devised a unique slide guitar technique that enabled him to mimic the sounds of chirping birds, stating in at least one interview that this was his tribute to Parker.
  • The Only World by poet Lynda Hull includes the poem “Ornithology” about Charlie Parker.
  • Refused included live recordings of Parker at the end of the song “Liberation Frequency” and transitioned it into “The Deadly Rhythm” on the album The Shape of Punk to Come.

 

 

 

Parker01

 

 

 

 

Charlie Parker Residence

From 1950 to 1954, Parker and his common-law wife, Chan Richardson, lived in the ground floor of the townhouse at 151 Avenue B, across from Tompkins Square Park in Manhattan‘s East Village. The Gothic Revival building, which was built c.1849, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1994, and was designated a New York City landmark in 1999. Avenue B, between East 7th and 10th Streets, was renamed Charlie Parker Place in 1992.

 

 

 

Other tributes

  • The 1957 story “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin features a jazz/blues playing virtuoso who names Bird as the “greatest” jazz musician, whose style he hopes to emulate.
  • In 1949, the New York night club Birdland was named in his honor. Three years later, George Shearing wrote “Lullaby of Birdland“, named for both Parker and the nightclub.
  • A memorial to Parker was dedicated in 1999 in Kansas City at 17th Terrace and The Paseo, near the American Jazz Museum located at 18th and Vine, featuring a 10-foot (3 m) tall bronze head sculpted by Robert Graham.
  • The Charlie Parker Jazz Festival is a free two-day music festival that takes place every summer on the last weekend of August in Manhattan, New York City, at Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem and Tompkins Square Park in the Lower East Side, sponsored by the non-profit organization City Parks Foundation. The festival marked its 17th anniversary in 2009.
  • In one of his most famous short story collections, Las armas secretas (The Secret Weapons), Julio Cortázar dedicated “El perseguidor” (“The Pursuer”) to the memory of Charlie Parker. This piece examines the last days of Johnny, a drug-addict saxophonist, through the eyes of Bruno, his biographer. Some qualify this story as one of Cortazar’s masterpieces in the genre.
  • A biographical film called Bird, starring Forest Whitaker as Parker and directed by Clint Eastwood, was released in 1988.
  • In 1984, legendary modern dance choreographer Alvin Ailey created the piece For Bird – With Love in honor of Parker. The piece chronicles his life, from his early career to his failing health.
  • In 2005, the Selmer Paris saxophone manufacturer commissioned a special “Tribute to Bird” alto saxophone, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the death of Charlie Parker (1955–2005).
  • Parker’s performances of “I Remember You” and “Parker’s Mood” (recorded for the Savoy label in 1948, with the Charlie Parker All Stars, comprising Parker on alto sax, Miles Davis on trumpet, John Lewis on piano, Curley Russell on bass, and Max Roach on drums) were selected by Harold Bloom for inclusion on his shortlist of the “twentieth-century American Sublime”, the greatest works of American art produced in the 20th century. A vocalese version of “Parker’s Mood” was a popular success for King Pleasure.
  • The Oris Watch Company created a limited edition timepiece in Charlie Parker’s name. The watch features the word “bird” at the 4 o’clock hour, in honor of Parker’s nickname and signifying “Jazz, until 4 in the morning”.
  • Jean-Michel Basquiat created many pieces to honour Charlie Parker, including Charles the FirstCPRKR and Discography I.
  • In 1995, Live Bird, a one-man play about Charlie Parker, written and performed by actor/saxophonist Jeff Robinson, made its premier at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Charlie Watts, drummer for the Rolling Stones, wrote a children’s book entitled Ode to a High Flying Bird as a tribute to Parker. Watts has cited Parker as a major influence in his life as a young man learning to play jazz.

 

 

Charlie Parker Quintet at Birdland – Ornithology

 

 

 

 

 

Charlie Parker Live Jam Session 1952 ~ Scrapple From The Apple

 

 

 

 

Recorded: Howard Theater, Washington, DC October 18, 1952

Personnel:
Charlie Parker – Alto Sax
Charlie Byrd – Guitar
Bill Shanahan – Piano
Merton Oliver – Bass
Don Lamond – Drums
Unknown – Bongos

 

 

 

Discography
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Black History Moment: Miles Dewey Davis III


 

By Jueseppi B.

 

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Miles Dewey Davis III (May 26, 1926 – September 28, 1991) was an American jazz musician, trumpeter, bandleader, and composer. Widely considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, Miles Davis was, with his musical groups, at the forefront of several major developments in jazz music, including bebopcool jazzhard bopmodal jazz, and jazz fusion.

 

On October 7, 2008, his 1959 album Kind of Blue received its fourth platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), for shipments of at least four million copies in the United States. Miles Davis was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. Davis was noted as “one of the key figures in the history of jazz”. On December 15, 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a symbolic resolution recognizing and commemorating the album Kind of Blue on its 50th anniversary, “honoring the masterpiece and reaffirming jazz as a national treasure.”

 

 

Background information
Birth name Miles Dewey Davis III
Born May 26, 1926
Alton, Illinois, United States
Died September 28, 1991 (aged 65)
Santa Monica, CaliforniaUnited States
Genres Jazzhard bopbebopcool jazzmodal,

fusionthird streamjazz-funkjazz rap

Occupations Bandleader, composer, trumpeter, artist
Instruments Trumpet, flugelhorn, piano,organ
Years active 1944–1975, 1980–1991
Labels Capitol Jazz/EMI,Columbia/CBS,

Warner Bros.Dial Records

Associated acts Billy EckstineCharlie Parker,

Miles Davis QuintetGil Evans

Website www.milesdavis.com

 

 

 

Early life (1926–44)

Miles Dewey Davis was born on May 26, 1926, to an affluent African American family in Alton, Illinois. His father, Miles Henry Davis, was a dentist. In 1927 the family moved to East St. Louis, Illinois. They also owned a substantial ranch in northern Arkansas, where Davis learned to ride horses as a boy.

 

Davis’ mother, Cleota Mae (Henry) Davis, wanted her son to learn the piano; she was a capable blues pianist but kept this fact hidden from her son. His musical studies began at 13, when his father gave him a trumpet and arranged lessons with local musician Elwood Buchanan. Davis later suggested that his father’s instrument choice was made largely to irk his wife, who disliked the trumpet’s sound. Against the fashion of the time, Buchanan stressed the importance of playing without vibrato; he was reported to have slapped Davis’ knuckles every time he started using heavy vibrato. Davis would carry his clear signature tone throughout his career. He once remarked on its importance to him, saying, “I prefer a round sound with no attitude in it, like a round voice with not too much tremolo and not too much bass. Just right in the middle. If I can’t get that sound I can’t play anything.” Clark Terry was another important early influence.

 

By age 16, Davis was a member of the music society and playing professionally when not at school. At 17, he spent a year playing in Eddie Randle’s band, the Blue Devils. During this time, Sonny Stitt tried to persuade him to join the Tiny Bradshaw band, then passing through town, but Davis’ mother insisted that he finish his final year of high school. He graduated from East St. Louis Lincoln High School in 1944.

 

In 1944, the Billy Eckstine band visited East St. Louis. Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker were members of the band, and Davis was brought in on third trumpet for a couple of weeks because the regular player, Buddy Anderson, was out sick. Even after this experience, once Eckstine’s band left town, Davis’ parents were still keen for him to continue formal academic studies.

 

 

New York and the bebop years begin (1944–48)

In the fall of 1944, following graduation from high school, Davis moved to New York City to study at the Juilliard School of Music.

 

Upon arriving in New York, he spent most of his first weeks in town trying to get in contact with Charlie Parker, despite being advised against doing so by several people he met during his quest, including saxophonist Coleman Hawkins. Finally locating his idol, Davis became one of the cadre of musicians who held nightly jam sessions at two of Harlem‘s nightclubs, Minton’s Playhouse and Monroe’s. The group included many of the future leaders of the bebop revolution: young players such as Fats NavarroFreddie Webster, and J. J. Johnson. Established musicians including Thelonious Monk and Kenny Clarke were also regular participants.

 

Davis dropped out of Juilliard after asking permission from his father. In his autobiography, Davis criticized the Juilliard classes for centering too much on the classical European and “white” repertoire. However, he also acknowledged that, in addition to greatly improving his trumpet playing technique, Juilliard helped give him a grounding in music theory that would prove valuable in later years.

 

Davis began playing professionally, performing in several 52nd Street clubs with Coleman Hawkins and Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis. In 1945, he entered a recording studio for the first time, as a member of Herbie Fields‘s group. This was the first of many recordings Davis contributed to in this period, mostly as a sideman. He finally got the chance to record as a leader in 1946, with an occasional group called the Miles Davis Sextet plus Earl Coleman and Ann Hathaway—one of the rare occasions when Davis, by then a member of the groundbreaking Charlie Parker Quintet, can be heard accompanying singers. In these early years, recording sessions where Davis was the leader were the exception rather than the rule; his next date as leader would not come until 1947.

 

Around 1945, Dizzy Gillespie parted ways with Parker, and Davis was hired as Gillespie’s replacement in his quintet, which also featured Max Roach on drums, Al Haig (replaced later by Sir Charles Thompson and Duke Jordan) on piano, and Curley Russell (later replaced by Tommy Potter and Leonard Gaskin) on bass.

 

With Parker’s quintet, Davis went into the studio several times, already showing hints of the style he would become known for. On an oft-quoted take of Parker’s signature song, Now’s the Time, Davis takes a melodic solo, whose unbop-like quality anticipates the “cool jazz” period that followed. The Parker quintet also toured widely. During a stop in Los Angeles, Parker had a nervous breakdown that landed him in the Camarillo State Mental Hospital for several months, and Davis found himself stranded.

 

He roomed and collaborated for some time with bassist Charles Mingus, before getting a job on Billy Eckstine‘s California tour, which eventually brought him back to New York. In 1948, Parker returned to New York, and Davis rejoined his group. The relationships within the quintet, however, were growing tense. Parker’s erratic behavior (attributable to his well-known drug addiction) and artistic choices (both Davis and Roach objected to having Duke Jordan as a pianist and would have preferred Bud Powell) became sources of friction. In December 1948, disputes over money (Davis claims he was not being paid) began to strain their relationship even further. Davis finally left the group following a confrontation with Parker at the Royal Roost.

 

For Davis, his departure from Parker’s group marked the beginning of a period when he worked mainly as a freelancer and sideman in some of the most important combos on the New York jazz scene.

 

 

Miles Davis

 

 

 

Birth of the Cool (1948–49)

In 1948 Davis grew close to the Canadian composer and arranger Gil Evans. Evans’ basement apartment had become the meeting place for several young musicians and composers such as Davis, Roach, pianist John Lewis, and baritone sax player Gerry Mulligan who were unhappy with the increasingly virtuoso instrumental techniques that dominated the bebop scene. Evans had been the arranger for the Claude Thornhill orchestra, and it was the sound of this group, as well as Duke Ellington‘s example, that suggested the creation of an unusual line-up: a nonet including a French horn and a tuba (this accounts for the “tuba band” moniker that became associated with the combo).

 

Davis took an active role in the project, so much so that it soon became “his project”. The objective was to achieve a sound similar to the human voice, through carefully arranged compositions and by emphasizing a relaxed, melodic approach to the improvisations.

 

The nonet debuted in the summer of 1948, with a two-week engagement at the Royal Roost. The sign announcing the performance gave a surprising prominence to the role of the arrangers: “Miles Davis Nonet. Arrangements by Gil Evans, John Lewis and Gerry Mulligan.” It was, in fact, so unusual that Davis had to persuade the Roost’s manager, Ralph Watkins, to word the sign this way. He prevailed only with the help of Monte Kay, the club’s artistic director.

 

The nonet was active until the end of 1949, along the way undergoing several changes in personnel: Roach and Davis were constantly featured, along with Mulligan, tuba player Bill Barber, and alto saxophonist Lee Konitz, who had been preferred to Sonny Stitt (whose playing was considered too bop-oriented). Over the months, John Lewis alternated with Al Haig on piano, Mike Zwerin with Kai Winding on trombone (Johnson was touring at the time), Junior Collins with Sandy Siegelstein and Gunther Schuller on French horn, and Al McKibbon with Joe Shulman on bass. Singer Kenny Hagood was added for one track during the recording.

 

The presence of white musicians in the group angered some black jazz players, many of whom were unemployed at the time, but Davis rebuffed their criticisms.

 

A contract with Capitol Records granted the nonet several recording sessions between January 1949 and April 1950. The material they recorded was released in 1956 on an album whose title, Birth of the Cool, gave its name to the “cool jazz” movement that developed at the same time and partly shared the musical direction begun by Davis’ group.

 

For his part, Davis was fully aware of the importance of the project, which he pursued to the point of turning down a job with Duke Ellington‘s orchestra.

 

The importance of the nonet experience would become clear to critics and the larger public only in later years, but, at least commercially, the nonet was not a success. The liner notes of the first recordings of the Davis Quintet for Columbia Records call it one of the most spectacular failures of the jazz club scene. This was bitterly noted by Davis, who claimed the invention of the cool style and resented the success that was later enjoyed—in large part because of the media’s attention—by white “cool jazz” musicians (Mulligan and Dave Brubeck in particular)

 

This experience also marked the beginning of the lifelong friendship between Davis and Gil Evans, an alliance that would bear important results in the years to follow.

 

 

Hard bop and the “Blue Period” (1950–54)

The first half of the 1950′s was, for Davis, a period of great personal difficulty. At the end of 1949, he went on tour in Paris with a group including Tadd DameronKenny Clarke (who remained in Europe after the tour), and James Moody. Davis was fascinated by Paris and its cultural environment, where black jazz musicians, and African Americans in general, often felt better respected than they did in their homeland. While in Paris, Davis began a relationship with French actress and singer Juliette Gréco.

 

Many of his new and old friends (Davis, in his autobiography, mentions Clarke) tried to persuade him to stay in France, but Davis decided to return to New York. Back in the States, he began to feel deeply depressed. He attributes the depression to his separation from Gréco, his feeling under-appreciated by the critics (who hailed his former collaborators as leaders of the cool jazz movement)—and to the unraveling of his liaison with a former St. Louis schoolmate who lived with him in New York, with whom he had two children.

 

Davis blames these factors for the heroin habit that deeply affected him for the next four years. Though he denies it in his autobiography, it is also likely that the environment he lived in played a role. Most of Davis’ associates at the time—some perhaps imitating Charlie Parker—had drug addictions of their own. These included sax players Sonny Rollins and Dexter Gordon, trumpeters Fats Navarro and Freddie Webster, and drummer Art Blakey). For the next four years, Davis supported his habit partly with his music and partly by living the life of a hustler. By 1953, his drug addiction began to impair his playing ability. Heroin had killed some of his friends (Navarro and Freddie Webster). He had been arrested for drug possession while on tour in Los Angeles, and his drug habit became public in a devastating Down Beat interview of Cab Calloway.

 

Realizing his precarious condition, Davis tried several times to end his drug addiction, finally succeeding in 1954 after returning to his father’s home in St. Louis for several months and locking himself in a room until he had gone through a painful withdrawal. During this period, he avoided New York and played mostly in Detroit and other Midwestern towns, where drugs were then harder to come by. A widely related story, attributed to Richard (Prophet) Jennings was that Davis, while in Detroit playing at the Blue Bird club as a guest soloist in Billy Mitchell‘s house band along with Tommy FlanaganElvin JonesBetty CarterYusef LateefBarry HarrisThad JonesCurtis Fuller and Donald Byrd stumbled into Baker’s Keyboard Lounge out of the rain, soaking wet and carrying his trumpet in a paper bag under his coat, walked to the bandstand and interrupted Max Roach and Clifford Brown in the midst of performing Sweet Georgia Brown by beginning to play My Funny Valentine, and then, after finishing the song, stumbled back into the rainy night. Davis was supposedly embarrassed into getting clean by this incident. In his autobiography, Davis disputed this account, stating that Roach had requested that Davis play with him that night, and that the details of the incident, such as carrying his horn in a paper bag and interrupting Roach and Brown, were fictional and that his decision to quit heroin was unrelated to the incident.

 

Despite all the personal turmoil, the 1950–54 period was actually quite fruitful for Davis artistically. He made quite a number of recordings and had several collaborations with other important musicians. He got to know the music of Chicago pianist Ahmad Jamal, whose elegant approach and use of space influenced him deeply. He also definitively severed his stylistic ties with bebop.

 

In 1951, Davis met Bob Weinstock, the owner of Prestige Records, and signed a contract with the label. Between 1951 and 1954, he released many records on Prestige, with several different combos. While the personnel of the recordings varied, the lineup often featured Sonny Rollins and Art Blakey. Davis was particularly fond of Rollins and tried several times, in the years that preceded his meeting with John Coltrane, to recruit him for a regular group. He never succeeded, however, mostly because Rollins was prone to make himself unavailable for months at a time. In spite of the casual occasions that generated these recordings, their quality is almost always quite high, and they document the evolution of Davis’ style and sound. During this time he began using the Harmon mute, held close to the microphone, in a way that became his signature, and his phrasing, especially in ballads, became spacious, melodic, and relaxed. This sound became so characteristic that the use of the Harmon mute by any jazz trumpet player since immediately conjures up Miles Davis.

 

The most important Prestige recordings of this period (DigBlue HazeBags’ GrooveMiles Davis and the Modern Jazz Giants, and Walkin’) originated mostly from recording sessions in 1951 and 1954, after Davis’ recovery from his addiction. Also of importance are his five Blue Note recordings, collected in the Miles Davis Volume 1 album.

 

With these recordings, Davis assumed a central position in what is known as hard bop. In contrast with bebop, hard bop used slower tempos and a less radical approach to harmony and melody, often adopting popular tunes and standards from the American songbook as starting points for improvisation. Hard bop also distanced itself from cool jazz by virtue of a harder beat and by its constant reference to the blues, both in its traditional form and in the form made popular by rhythm and blues. A few critics go as far as to call Walkin’ the album that created hard bop, but the point is debatable, given the number of musicians who were working along similar lines at the same time (and of course many of them recorded or played with Davis).

 

Also in this period, Davis gained a reputation for being distant, cold, and withdrawn, and for having a quick temper. Factors that contributed to this reputation included his contempt for the critics and specialized press, and some well-publicized confrontations with the public and with fellow musicians.

 

A near fight with Thelonious Monk during the recording of Bags’ Groove, received wide exposure in the specialized press.

 

Davis had an operation to remove polyps from his larynx in October 1955. Even though he was not supposed to speak at all for ten days, he had an argument with somebody and raised his voice. This outburst damaged his vocal cords forever, giving him the characteristic raspy voice that came to be associated with him. “[...] in February or March 1956, that I had my first throat operation and had to disband the group while recovering. During the course of the conversation I raised my voice to make a point and f***ed up my voice. I wasn’t even supposed to talk for at least ten days, and here I was not only talking, but talking loudly. After that incident my voice had this whisper that has been with me ever since.”

 

The “nocturnal” quality of Davis’ playing and his somber reputation, along with his whispering voice, earned him the lasting moniker of “prince of darkness”, adding a patina of mystery to his public persona.

 

 

Miles Davis

 

 

 

 

 

First great quintet and sextet (1955–58)

 

Back in New York and in better health, in 1955 Davis attended the Newport Jazz Festival, where his performance (and especially his solo on “‘Round Midnight“) was greatly admired and prompted the critics to hail the “return of Miles Davis”. At the same time, Davis recruited the players for a formation that became known as his “first great quintet”: John Coltrane on tenor saxophone, Red Garland on piano, Paul Chambers on bass, and Philly Joe Jones on drums.

 

 

None of these musicians, with the exception of Davis, had received a great deal of exposure before that time; Chambers, in particular, was very young (19 at the time), a Detroit player who had been on the New York scene for only about a year, working with the bands of Bennie GreenPaul QuinichetteGeorge WallingtonJ. J. Johnson, and Kai Winding. Coltrane was little known at the time, in spite of earlier collaborations with Dizzy GillespieEarl Bostic, and Johnny Hodges. Davis hired Coltrane as a replacement for Sonny Rollins, after unsuccessfully trying to recruit alto saxophonist Julian “Cannonball” Adderley.

 

The repertoire included many bebop mainstays, standards from the Great American Songbook and the pre-bop era, and some traditional tunes. The prevailing style of the group was a development of the Davis experience in the previous years—Davis playing long, legato, and essentially melodic lines, while Coltrane, who during these years emerged as a leading figure on the musical scene, contrasted by playing high-energy solos.

 

 

With the new formation also came a new recording contract. In Newport, Davis had met Columbia Records producer George Avakian, who persuaded him to sign with his label. The quintet made its debut on record with the extremely well received ‘Round About Midnight. Before leaving Prestige, however, Davis had to fulfill his obligations during two days of recording sessions in 1956. Prestige released these recordings in the following years as four albums: Relaxin’ with the Miles Davis QuintetSteamin’ with the Miles Davis QuintetWorkin’ with the Miles Davis Quintet, and Cookin’ with the Miles Davis Quintet. While the recording took place in a studio, each record of this series has the structure and feel of a live performance, with several first takes on each album. The records became almost instant classics and were instrumental in establishing Davis’ quintet as one of the best on the jazz scene.

 

The quintet was disbanded for the first time in 1957, following a series of personal problems that Davis blames on the drug addiction of the other musicians. Davis played some gigs at the Cafe Bohemia with a short-lived formation that included Sonny Rollins and drummer Art Taylor, and then traveled to France, where he recorded the score to Louis Malle‘s film Ascenseur pour l’échafaud. With the aid of French session musicians Barney WilenPierre Michelot, and René Urtreger, and American drummer Kenny Clarke, he recorded the entire soundtrack with an innovative procedure, without relying on written material: starting from sparse indication of the harmony and a general feel of a given piece, the group played by watching the movie on a screen in front of them and improvising.

 

A performance of the Ballets Africans from Guinea in 1958 sparked Davis’s interest in modal music. This music, featuring the kalimba, stayed for long periods of time on a single chord, weaving in and out of consonance and dissonance. It was a very new concept in jazz at the time, then dominated by the chord-change based music of bebop.

 

Returning to New York in 1958, Davis successfully recruited Cannonball Adderley for his standing group. Coltrane, who in the meantime had freed himself from his drug habits, was available after a highly fruitful experience with Thelonious Monk and was hired back, as was Philly Joe Jones. With the quintet re-formed as a sextet, Davis recorded Milestones, an album anticipating the new directions he was preparing to give to his music.

 

Almost immediately after the recording of Milestones, Davis fired Garland and, shortly afterward, Jones, again for behavioral problems; he replaced them with Bill Evans—a young white pianist with a strong classical background—and drummer Jimmy Cobb. With this revamped formation, Davis began a year during which the sextet performed and toured extensively and produced a record (1958 Miles, also known as 58 Sessions). Evans had a unique, impressionistic approach to the piano, and his musical ideas had a strong influence on Davis. But after only eight months on the road with the group, he was burned out and left. He was soon replaced by Wynton Kelly, a player who brought to the sextet a swinging, bluesy approach that contrasted with Evans’ more delicate playing.

 

 

Recordings with Gil Evans (1957–63)

In the late 1950′s and early 1960′s, Davis recorded a series of albums with Gil Evans, often playing flugelhorn as well as trumpet. The first, Miles Ahead (1957), showcased his playing with a jazz big band and a horn section arranged by Evans. Songs included Dave Brubeck‘s “The Duke,” as well as Léo Delibes‘s “The Maids of Cadiz,” the first piece of European classical music Davis had recorded. Another distinctive feature of the album was the orchestral passages that Evans had devised as transitions between the different tracks, which were joined together with the innovative use of editing in the post-production phase, turning each side of the album into a seamless piece of music.

 

In 1958, Davis and Evans were back in the studio to record Porgy and Bess, an arrangement of pieces from George Gershwin‘s opera of the same name. The lineup included three members of the sextet: Paul Chambers, Philly Joe Jones, and Julian “Cannonball” Adderley. Davis called the album one of his favorites.

 

Sketches of Spain (1959–1960) featured songs by contemporary Spanish composer Joaquin Rodrigo and also Manuel de Falla, as well as Gil Evans originals with a Spanish flavor. Miles Davis at Carnegie Hall (1961) includes Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez, along with other compositions recorded in concert with an orchestra under Evans’ direction.

 

Sessions with Davis and Evans in 1962 resulted in the album Quiet Nights, a short collection of bossa novas that was released against the wishes of both artists: Evans stated it was only half an album, and blamed the record company; Davis blamed producer Teo Macero, whom he didn’t speak to for more than two years. This was the last time Evans and Davis made a full album together; despite the professional separation, however, Davis noted later that “my best friend is Gil Evans.”

 

 

Kind of Blue (1959–64)

 

 

Miles-Davis-Kind-Of-Blue---Re-481600

 

 

In March and April 1959, Davis re-entered the studio with his working sextet to record what is widely considered his magnum opusKind of Blue. He called back Bill Evans, months away from forming what would become his ownseminal trio, for the album sessions, as the music had been planned around Evans’ piano style. Both Davis and Evans were personally acquainted with the ideas of pianist George Russell regarding modal jazz, Davis from discussions with Russell and others before the Birth of the Cool sessions, and Evans from study with Russell in 1956. Davis, however, had neglected to inform current pianist Kelly of Evans’ role in the recordings; Kelly subsequently played only on the track “Freddie Freeloader” and was not present at the April dates for the album. “So What” and “All Blues” had been played by the sextet at performances prior to the recording sessions, but for the other three compositions, Davis and Evans prepared skeletal harmonic frameworks that the other musicians saw for the first time on the day of recording, to allow a fresher approach to their improvisations. The resulting album has proven both highly popular and enormously influential. According to the RIAAKind of Blue is the best-selling jazz album of all time, having been certified as quadruple platinum (4 million copies sold) In December 2009, the US House of Representatives voted 409–0 to pass a resolution honoring the album as a national treasure.

 

The trumpet Davis used on the recording is currently displayed in the music building on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. It was donated to the school by Arthur “Buddy” Gist, who met Davis in 1949 and became a close friend. The gift was the reason why the jazz program at UNCG is named the “Miles Davis Jazz Studies Program.”

 

In 1959, the Miles Davis Quintet was appearing at the famous Birdland nightclub in New York City. After finishing a 27 minute recording for the armed services, Davis took a break outside the club. As he was escorting an attractive blonde woman across the sidewalk to a taxi, Davis was told by Patrolman Gerald Kilduff to “move on.” Davis explained that he worked at the nightclub and refused to move. The officer said that he would arrest Davis and grabbed him as Davis protected himself. Witnesses said that Kilduff punched Davis in the stomach with his nightstick without provocation. Two nearby detectives held the crowd back as a third detective, Donald Rolker, approached Davis from behind and beat him about the head. Davis was then arrested and taken to jail where he was charged with feloniously assaulting an officer. He was then taken to St. Clary Hospital where he received five stitches for a wound on his head. Davis tried to pursue the case in the courts, but eventually dropped the proceedings in a plea bargain so he could recover his suspended Cabaret Card and return to work in New York clubs.

 

Davis persuaded Coltrane to play with the group on one final European tour in the spring of 1960. Coltrane then departed to form his classic quartet, although he returned for some of the tracks on Davis’ 1961 album Someday My Prince Will Come. After Coltrane, Davis tried various saxophonists, including Jimmy HeathSonny Stitt, and Hank Mobley. The quintet with Hank Mobley was recorded in the studio and on several live engagements atCarnegie Hall and the Black Hawk jazz club in San Francisco. Stitt’s playing with the group is found on a recording made in Olympia, Paris (where Davis and Coltrane had played a few months before) and the Live in Stockholm album.

 

In 1963, Davis’ longtime rhythm section of Kelly, Chambers, and Cobb departed. He quickly got to work putting together a new group, including  tenor saxophonist George Coleman and bassist Ron Carter. Davis, Coleman, Carter and a few other musicians recorded half the tracks for an album in the spring of 1963. A few weeks later, seventeen-year-old drummer Tony Williams and pianist Herbie Hancock joined the group, and soon afterward Davis, Coleman, and the new rhythm section recorded the rest of Seven Steps to Heaven.

 

The rhythm players melded together quickly as a section and with the horns. The group’s rapid evolution can be traced through the Seven Steps to Heaven album, In Europe (July 1963), My Funny Valentine (February 1964), and Four and More (also February 1964). The quintet played essentially the same repertoire of bebop tunes and standards that earlier Davis bands had played, but they tackled them with increasing structural and rhythmic freedom and, in the case of the up-tempo material, breakneck speed.

 

Coleman left in the spring of 1964, to be replaced by avant-garde saxophonist Sam Rivers, on the suggestion of Tony Williams. Rivers remained in the group only briefly, but was recorded live with the quintet in Japan; this configuration can be heard on Miles in Tokyo! (July 1964).

 

By the end of the summer, Davis had persuaded Wayne Shorter to leave Art Blakey‘s Jazz Messengers and join the quintet. Shorter became the group’s principal composer, and some of his compositions of this era (including “Footprints” and “Nefertiti”) have become standards. While on tour in Europe, the group quickly made their first official recording, Miles in Berlin (September 1964). On returning to the United States later that year, ever the musical entrepreneur, Davis (at Jackie DeShannon‘s urging) was instrumental in getting The Byrds signed to Columbia Records.

 

 

Later years

By 1979, Davis had rekindled his relationship with actress Cicely Tyson. With Tyson, Davis would overcome his cocaine addiction and regain his enthusiasm for music. As he had not played trumpet for the better part of three years, regaining his famed embouchure proved particularly arduous. While recording The Man with the Horn (sessions were spread sporadically over 1979–1981), Davis played mostly wahwah with a younger, larger band.

 

The initial large band was eventually abandoned in favor of a smaller combo featuring saxophonist Bill Evans (not to be confused with pianist Bill Evans of the 1958-59 sextet), and bass player Marcus Miller, both of whom would be among Davis’s most regular collaborators throughout the decade. He married Tyson in 1981; they would divorce in 1988. The Man with the Horn was finally released in 1981 and received a poor critical reception despite selling fairly well. In May, the new band played two dates as part of the Newport Jazz Festival. The concerts, as well as the live recording We Want Milesfrom the ensuing tour, received positive reviews.

 

By late 1982, Davis’s band included French percussionist Mino Cinelu and guitarist John Scofield, with whom he worked closely on the album Star People. In mid-1983, while working on the tracks for Decoy, an album mixing soul music and electronica that was released in 1984, Davis brought in producer, composer and keyboardist Robert Irving III, who had earlier collaborated with him on The Man with the Horn. With a seven-piece band, including Scofield, Evans, keyboardist and music director Irving, drummer Al Foster and bassist Darryl Jones (later of The Rolling Stones), Davis played a series of European gigs to positive receptions. While in Europe, he took part in the recording of Aura, an orchestral tribute to Davis composed by Danish trumpeter Palle Mikkelborg.

 

You’re Under Arrest, Davis’ next album, was released in 1985 and included another brief stylistic detour. Included on the album were his interpretations of Cyndi Lauper‘s ballad “Time After Time“, and Michael Jackson‘s pop hit “Human Nature“. Davis considered releasing an entire album of pop songs and recorded dozens of them, but the idea was scrapped. Davis noted that many of today’s accepted jazz standards were in fact pop songs from Broadway theater, and that he was simply updating the “standards” repertoire with new material. 1985 also saw Davis guest-star on the TV show Miami Vice as pimp and minor criminal Ivory Jones in the episode titled “Junk Love” (first aired November 8, 1985).

 

You’re Under Arrest was Davis’ final album for Columbia. Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis publicly dismissed Davis’ more recent fusion recordings as not being “‘true’ jazz,” comments Davis initially shrugged off, calling Marsalis “a nice young man, only confused.” This changed after Marsalis appeared, unannounced, onstage in the midst of Davis’ performance at the inaugural Vancouver International Jazz Festival in 1986. Marsalis whispered into Davis’ ear that “someone” had told him to do so. Davis responded by ordering him off the stage.

 

Davis grew irritated at Columbia’s delay releasing Aura. The breaking point in the label-artist relationship appears to have come when a Columbia jazz producer requested Davis place a goodwill birthday call to Marsalis. Davis signed with Warner Bros. Records shortly thereafter.

 

Davis collaborated with a number of figures from the British new wave movement during this period, including Scritti Politti. At the invitation of producer Bill Laswell, Davis recorded some trumpet parts during sessions for Public Image Ltd.‘s Album, according to Public Image’s John Lydon in the liner notes of their Plastic Box box set. In Lydon’s words, however, “strangely enough, we didn’t use [his contributions].” (Also according to Lydon in the Plastic Box notes, Davis favorably compared Lydon’s singing voice to his trumpet sound.)

 

Having first taken part in the Artists United Against Apartheid recording, Davis signed with Warner Brothers records and reunited with Marcus Miller. The resulting record, Tutu (1986), would be his first to use modern studio tools—programmed synthesizers, samples and drum loops—to create an entirely new setting for his playing. Ecstatically reviewed on its release, the album would frequently be described as the modern counterpart of Sketches of Spain and won a Grammy in 1987.

 

He followed Tutu with Amandla, another collaboration with Miller and George Duke, plus the soundtracks to four movies: Street SmartSiestaThe Hot Spot (with bluesman John Lee Hooker), and Dingo. He continued to tour with a band of constantly rotating personnel and a critical stock at a level higher than it had been for 15 years. His last recordings, both released posthumously, were the hip hop-influenced studio album Doo-Bop and Miles & Quincy Live at Montreux, a collaboration with Quincy Jones for the 1991 Montreux Jazz Festival. For the first time in three decades, Davis returned to the songs arranged by Gil Evans on such 1950s albums as Miles AheadPorgy and Bess and Sketches of Spain. This album was also the last album recorded by Davis. It left a lot of people who had been disappointed with his newer, more experimental works happy that he had ended his career on such way.

 

 

 

The grave of Miles Davis in Woodlawn Cemetery

In 1988 he had a small part as a street musician in the film Scrooged, starring Bill Murray. In 1989, Davis was interviewed on 60 Minutes by Harry Reasoner. Davis received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1990.

 

In early 1991, he appeared in the Rolf de Heer film Dingo as a jazz musician. In the film’s opening sequence, Davis and his band unexpectedly land on a remote airstrip in the Australian outback and proceed to perform for the surprised locals. The performance was one of Davis’s last on film.

 

During the last years of Miles Davis’s life, there were rumors that he had AIDS, something that he and his manager Peter Shukat vehemently denied. Even though it was not publicly known, by that time Davis was taking azidothymidine (AZT), a type of antiretroviral drug used for the treatment of HIV/AIDS.

 

Davis died on September 28, 1991 from the combined effects of a stroke, pneumonia and respiratory failure in Santa Monica, California, at the age of 65. He is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx.

 

 

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Views on his earlier work

Late in his life, from the ‘electric period’ onwards, Davis repeatedly explained his reasons for not wishing to perform his earlier works, such as Birth of the Cool or Kind of Blue. In Davis’ view, remaining stylistically static was the wrong option. He commented: ” “So What” or Kind of Blue, they were done in that era, the right hour, the right day, and it happened. It’s over.  What I used to play with Bill Evans, all those different modes, and substitute chords, we had the energy then and we liked it. But I have no feel for it anymore, it’s more like warmed-over turkey.” When Shirley Horn insisted in 1990 that Miles reconsider playing the ballads and modal tunes of his Kind of Blue period, he demurred. “Nah, it hurts my lip,” was the reason he gave.

 

Other musicians regretted Davis’s change of style, for example, Bill Evans, who was instrumental in creating Kind of Blue, said: “I would like to hear more of the consummate melodic master, but I feel that big business and his record company have had a corrupting influence on his material. The rock and pop thing certainly draws a wider audience. It happens more and more these days, that unqualified people with executive positions try to tell musicians what is good and what is bad music.”

 

 

Legacy and influence

Miles Davis is regarded as one of the most innovative, influential and respected figures in the history of music. He has been described as “one of the great innovators in jazz”. The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll noted “Miles Davis played a crucial and inevitably controversial role in every major development in jazz since the mid-’40s, and no other jazz musician has had so profound an effect on rock. Miles Davis was the most widely recognized jazz musician of his era, an outspoken social critic and an arbiter of style—in attitude and fashion—as well as music”. His album Kind of Blue is the best-selling album in the history of jazz music. On November 5, 2009, Rep. John Conyers of Michigan sponsored a measure in the United States House of Representatives to recognize and commemorate the album on its 50th anniversary. The measure also affirms jazz as a national treasure and “encourages the United States government to preserve and advance the art form of jazz music.” It passed, unanimously, with a vote of 409–0 on December 15, 2009.

 

As an innovative bandleader and composer, Miles Davis has influenced many notable musicians and bands from diverse genres. Many well-known musicians rose to prominence as members of Davis’s ensembles, including saxophonists Gerry MulliganJohn ColtraneCannonball AdderleyGeorge ColemanWayne ShorterDave LiebmanBranford Marsalis and Kenny Garrett; trombonist J. J. Johnson; pianists Horace SilverRed GarlandWynton KellyBill EvansHerbie HancockJoe ZawinulChick Corea,Keith Jarrett and Kei Akagi; guitarists John McLaughlinPete CoseyJohn Scofield and Mike Stern; bassists Paul ChambersRon CarterDave HollandMarcus Miller and Darryl Jones; and drummers Elvin JonesPhilly Joe JonesJimmy CobbTony WilliamsBilly CobhamJack DeJohnette, and Al Foster. Miles’ influence on the people who played with him has been described by music writer and author Christopher Smith as follows:

Miles Davis’ artistic interest was in the creation and manipulation of ritual space, in which gestures could be endowed with symbolic power sufficient to form a functional communicative, and hence musical, vocabulary. [...] Miles’ performance tradition emphasized orality and the transmission of information and artistic insight from individual to individual. His position in that tradition, and his personality, talents, and artistic interests, impelled him to pursue a uniquely individual solution to the problems and the experiential possibilities of improvised performance.

 

His approach, owing largely to the African American performance tradition that focused on individual expression, emphatic interaction, and creative response to shifting contents, had a profound impact on generations of jazz musicians.

 

In 1986, the New England Conservatory awarded Miles Davis an Honorary Doctorate for his extraordinary contributions to music. Since 1960 the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) has honored him with eight Grammy Awards, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and three Grammy Hall of Fame Awards. In 2010, Molde jazz premiered a play called Driving Miles, which focused on a landmark concert Davis performed in Molde, Norway, in 1984.

 

 

Awards

 

Miles Davis - Pharaoh’s Dance (Bitches Brew)

 

 

 

 

 

Miles Davis - Bitches Brew (Bitches Brew)

 

 

 

 

 

Miles Davis - In A Silent Way [Full Album HD]

 

 

 

 

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Miles Davis - Sorcerer [Full Album HD]

 

 

 

 

 

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