Miles was a musician that was at the forefront of several musical styles of jazz that would become very popular after he had introduced or at least helped pioneered many styles that would become staples in the jazz canon.
in the first half of the 1950s he became one of the pioneers of Hard Bop with his quintet featuring John Coltrane (originally Sam Rivers), Red Garland, Philly Joe Jones and Paul Chambers. in a marathon session this group recorded four albums for Prestige in like two or three sessions and these are considered classics today. Miles was constantly becoming one of the most innovative trumpet players; there's not a single trumpet player that's not directly influenced by Davis, from Freddie Hubbard to Wynton Marsalis and many others whether they like to admit it or not.
Coltrane left the group for some years and joined Thelonious Monk, developing his style but after two years he returned to Davis quintet and that's when all five of themm were straight up incredible - the first great quintet. a couple years later Cannonball Adderley was added to the mix, making it a sextant, recording classics like "Milestones", "Kind Of Blue", the "'58 Sessions" compilation and countless live recordings. the chemistry between these three hornmen was out of this world, i don't think there ever been a group that had such great blowers in one band as Cannonabll, Trane and Miles.
when this disolved, Miles was trying out some new groups but still recorded some near classic albums ("Someday My Prince Will Come" and "Seven Steps to Heaven") but it was a searching period. but then he found his second great quintet which was absolute perfect - Miles, Hancock, Carter, Shorter and Tony Williams. these group held up for a very long time by Miles standards, four almost five years and all their albums are classics. they were rooted in Hard Bop but no other jazz group at the time played anything like them at the time, they mixed a lot of styles. almost fusion before there were fusion and Miles was a fantastic leader both in the studio and live.
then you gotta realize that pretty much EVERYBODY who played as a sideman in Davis groups, soon after became leaders for their own succesfull band and everyone who worked with him will tell you about his extreme charisma and how he got the most out of all his players. he also had a fantasitc ear to instinctively know what musicians would sound amazing together and it pretty much never went wrong. he knew it even before they auditioned.... there's so many cool interviews abou this.
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