Miles Davis is my favorite artists of all time together with RZA and KRS-One. i bought all his albums on either vinyl or CD, about 40 albums (some live LPs but most studio LPs), all his studio albums on Columbia Records from "Round About Midnight" to "Get Up With It" + "Bith Of The Cool", "Aura", "Doo Bop" and the brilliant posthomous "Panthalassa" and then on wax i have "You're Under Arrest", "Directions", "In Concert 1973", "We Want Miles", the rare "Facets" compilation. i also have the classic Cannonball Adderley 1958 album "Something Else" that although it's labeled a Cannonball album which is the only time Miles acted a a sideman and plays lead trumpet on all tracks. that's a must for any Miles fan. and these albums are all good but the vajost majority are actually GREAT!
i first got into Miles through "Kind Of Blue", "In A Silent Way" and "Bitches Brew" and was absolutely blown away. from there i almost became obsessed and started buying all his records, starting with all the fusion records since that was that i could relate to most given my former musical background but then after that i started with the others and found they were almost as good just completely different.
but to answer your question why Miles is one of the greatest musicians to ever walk the earth (and i'm writing an essay on Miles at the moment). he was the greatest for several reasons - he was very aware of music theory and notes and all that unlike many other jazz musicians. just like Cilvaringz (:P) he left his home and without a plan and just his trumpet he got a one way ticked to NYC to look for and play with his idols and biggest inspirations Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie; the undisputed kings of Be-Bop. Charlie Parker took him under his wing and learned him a lot; even making him a member of the C.P. working band with other legends like Max Roach and in 1945 he first entered a studio and recorded now classics like "Now is the Time", "Koko" and "Billie's Bounce". but Be Bop was all about extreme vituosity and fast playing, often in the higher register and Miles who heard music in the lower and middle register had a hard time keeping up. he was a very fast learner though.
then in 1949 he and 9 other musicians (including arranger Gil Evans) formed what would become the "Bith Of The Cool Band" or "The Miles Davis Nonet". they played a much smoother jazz, in a big band setting where his skill on the trumpet came more to its right as he now could play in the midle register of the trumpet. after one famous concert and a deal with Capitol that required the nonet to cut 12 songs that would be released over time.. these singles were eventually collected as "The Birth Of The Cool" (named by the label). Miles quickly moved away from this style bc he was like been there done that, but he pioneered the entire cool jazz / west coast jazz style that became popular during the first half of the '50s. that was the first time showing what a true innovator he was.
continued in my next post...
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