Miles Davis Research Paper

The King of Jazz “I’m always thinking about creating. My future starts when I wake up every morning. Everyday I find something creative to do with my life” (Davis 4). Miles Davis is the individual that made jazz the way it is today. Miles Davis still is a leading and influential figure in jazz ( Davis 1). When most people hear the word trumpet, they automatically picture Miles. His weird personality and his bizarre characteristics, make him a legend in the music scene. Davis explored many different sides of jazz, and went out of his way to be different.
Growing up in St. Louis, he picked up the trumpet at a very young age. Shortly after picking up the trumpet, he enrolled at Julliard School of Music. After two years at Julliard, he left and started his career. His success escalated quickly (Davis 1). Miles Davis should be considered one of the most influential jazz musicians because of his weird traits, his ability to bring up young musicians, and his creation of many styles in Jazz. Many people that Miles associated with speak of his interesting personality. He forced himself to hang with different crowds of people. Miles always seemed full of energy, and excitement when I talked to him. His words always had meaning, deep meaning” (Hentoff, Nat). These weird traits are what make Miles, Miles Davis. “I was a weird son of a bitch. Always saying the strangest things to Diz. He would always just look at me with this dumb stare. The cat eventually learned to not ask me questions no more” (Miles, 2). Miles Mckinney 2 talks about his interesting personality in his own autobiography. Davis was an interesting man, with many strengths and weaknesses, which eventually wrecked his life.
His drug life was terrible; it was making him act weird, and develop traits that he wouldn’t have normally taken on. “The different drugs I was taking was messing me up. Even my idols looked down on me. They was disappointed at me, and the decisions I was making,” says miles in his autobiography (Miles 2). Miles was well known for many things he said and did. His personality will live on, as well as his music. Different musicians were always going in and out of Davis’s band. He would always have the youngest, hotshot player in the area he was living in.

All of the people that Miles was playing with brought something new to their sound. If he didn’t like the way they played, or if they didn’t bring anything new and complex to the table, Miles would have them out of there in an instant (Miles, 5). Kenny Garrett was only 18 when he started playing with Miles. I met Dr. Garrett in February of 2012, and got the chance to ask him many questions about his experience with Miles Davis. When I asked about his experience with Miles, he replied with an answer that was powerful. “Playing with Miles was unlike anything I have ever experienced in my life.
Every note meant something to him. When we were playing, there was energy unlike no other. If he didn’t like the way you were playing something, he would let you know exactly how to fix it. I learned more than I ever have before, playing with him”, replied Dr. Garrett when I spoke with him. He had the ability to make a musician grow, and develop unlike anyone. Although he gave them freedom, he allowed them to develop into fine musicians. He was an inspiration to them, and watched as they succeeded (Hentoff, Nat). Mckinney 3 Miles was at the forefront of many different eras of Jazz.
Because all of the people in and out of his band, he always had a new sound. The different sounds that his band produced, called for new eras in jazz (PBS, 5). The most important style of jazz that Miles lead was “Cool Jazz”. His quartet, with the help of Charlie Parker, got heavy into bebop music. This style was widely copied around the United States, and became huge. Later in his life, Davis was big into the electric side of music. He recruited electric piano player Chick Corea, and his band sounded unlike anything other. He started bringing in guitar players, and really used technology as a catalyst in his music (Miles, 5).
In his career, Miles went through so many stages and styles. You can listen to his music, and tell what year the album was recorded. These vast eras that he was a part of makes him an extremely influential musician. Although Miles struggled with different obstacles in his life, he should still be considered one of the most influential people of all time. Many of the things he did in the old days, still live on in the music scene today. Not only did he have a unique personality but also was a fine teacher, and formed new styles of jazz in his playing.
His songs still blast in many peoples’ homes, and his licks are still played by many musicians today. His most famous album, Kind of Blue, recorded and released in 1959, still sells five-hundred thousand copies a year. Davis died on September 28th 1991, in Santa Monica, California (PBS, 5). He died doing what he loved, and did best. His name, and his music will continue to touch people every day. Miles Davis will live on, in a legendary manor. He is by far one of the most influential people to have walked on this earth.

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