Miles Davis quotes

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Miles Davis

Birthdate: 26. May 1926
Date of death: 28. September 1991

Miles Dewey Davis III was an American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, and composer. He is among the most influential and acclaimed figures in the history of jazz and 20th century music. Davis adopted a variety of musical directions in a five-decade career that kept him at the forefront of many major stylistic developments in jazz.Born in Alton, Illinois and raised in East St. Louis, Davis left to study at the Juilliard School in New York City, before dropping out and making his professional debut as a member of saxophonist Charlie Parker's bebop quintet from 1944 to 1948. Shortly after, he recorded the Birth of the Cool sessions for Capitol Records, which were instrumental to the development of cool jazz. In the early 1950s, Miles Davis recorded some of the earliest hard bop music while on Prestige Records but did so haphazardly due to a heroin addiction. After a widely acclaimed comeback performance at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1955, he signed a long-term contract with Columbia Records and recorded the 1957 album 'Round About Midnight. It was his first work with saxophonist John Coltrane and bassist Paul Chambers, key members of the sextet he led into the early 1960s. During this period, he alternated between orchestral jazz collaborations with arranger Gil Evans, such as the Spanish-influenced Sketches of Spain , and band recordings, such as Milestones and Kind of Blue . The latter recording remains one of the most popular jazz albums of all time, having sold over four million copies in the U.S.

Davis made several line-up changes while recording Someday My Prince Will Come , his 1961 Blackhawk concerts, and Seven Steps to Heaven , another mainstream success that introduced bassist Ron Carter, pianist Herbie Hancock, and drummer Tony Williams. After adding saxophonist Wayne Shorter to his new quintet in 1964, Davis led them on a series of more abstract recordings often composed by the band members, helping pioneer the post-bop genre with albums such as E.S.P and Miles Smiles , before transitioning into his electric period. During the 1970s, he experimented with rock, funk, African rhythms, emerging electronic music technology, and an ever-changing line-up of musicians, including keyboardist Joe Zawinul, drummer Al Foster, and guitarist John McLaughlin. This period, beginning with Davis' 1969 studio album In a Silent Way and concluding with the 1975 concert recording Agharta, was the most controversial in his career, alienating and challenging many in jazz. His million-selling 1970 record Bitches Brew helped spark a resurgence in the genre's commercial popularity with jazz fusion as the decade progressed.After a five-year retirement due to poor health, Davis resumed his career in the 1980s, employing younger musicians and pop sounds on albums such as The Man with the Horn and Tutu . Critics were generally unreceptive but the decade garnered the trumpeter his highest level of commercial recognition. He performed sold-out concerts worldwide while branching out into visual arts, film, and television work, before his death in 1991 from the combined effects of a stroke, pneumonia and respiratory failure. In 2006, Davis was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which recognized him as "one of the key figures in the history of jazz." Rolling Stone described him as "the most revered jazz trumpeter of all time, not to mention one of the most important musicians of the 20th century," while Gerald Early called him inarguably one of the most influential and innovative musicians of that period.

„He plays like somebody is standing on his foot.“

—  Miles Davis

Alternative: He plays like somebody was standing on his foot.
In Down Beat "Blindfold Test" with Leonard Feather (13 June 1964); also in
On Eric Dolphy
1960s

„Don't play what's there, play what's not there.“

—  Miles Davis

In SPIN (December 1990). p. 30, and in many other sources https://www.google.com/search?tbm=bks&hl=en&q=%22play+anything+on+a+horn%22+miles+davis#hl=en&q=%22don%27t+play+what%27s+there%22+not+davis&tbm=bks, but I can't find the original one.
1990s

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„For me, music and life are all about style.“

—  Miles Davis

Miles, the Autobiography (1989) (co-written with Quincy Troupe, p. 398.)
1980s

„If somebody told me I only had an hour to live, I'd spend it choking a white man. I'd do it nice and slow.“

—  Miles Davis

During an interview, after growing aggravated about questions on the subject of race.
1980s
Source: Jet (25 March 1985)

„Is that what you wanted, Alfred?“

—  Miles Davis

Quoted in: Jazz Journal International, (1983), p. 12.
Miles Davis asking Blue Note records producer Alfred Lion's approval of a recorded performance in Rudy Van Gelder's studio. Miles' gravelly-voice question was accidentally recorded, but included at the end of "One For Daddy-O" on the Cannonball Adderley recording "Somethin' Else": a famous recorded peek into the recording studio process.
1980s

„I've changed music four or five times. What have you done of any importance other than be white?“

—  Miles Davis

Miles, the Autobiography (1989) (co-written with Quincy Troupe, p. 371.)
At a White House reception in honor of Ray Charles 1987, this was his reply to a society lady seated next to him who had asked what he had done to be invited.
1980s

„He could very well be the Duke Ellington of Rock 'n' Roll.“

—  Miles Davis

In [A Change is Gonna Come: Music, Race & the Soul of America, Craig Hansen, Werner, University of Michigan Press, 2006, 9780472031474, 53] as: he can be the Duke Ellington of our times.
And in [Miles on Miles: Interviews and Encounters with Miles Davis, Musicians in Their Own Words Series, Paul Maher, Michael K. Dorr, Chicago Review Press, 2009, 9781556527067, 262] as: Do you know who Prince kinda reminds me of, particularly as a piano player? Duke! Yeah, he's the Duke Ellington of the eighties to my way of thinking.
On Prince
2000s

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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