Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Miles Davis Immortalized


Miles Davis, one of my favorite artists, and from my hometown, entered the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame this week. He was an artist in the true sense of the word. Able to play trumpet, French horn, piano, and other instruments, a great improvisationalist, and avid painter and drawer.
On top of all that, he was the most important figure in jazz in the last half of the 20th century, and as we get further into a new century, he is still one of the most influential figures in jazz. Miles Davis was and is still an institution. Playing with Miles became a prized training ground for many artists. He was a key figure in the development of dozens of jazz musicians and helped to launch many careers 40, 30, 20 years ago. Many of these artists are still playing today. Many iconic musicians have done this in the past, but the only ones who come remotely close to Miles in doing so were Duke Ellington, and Louis Armstrong, mostly during the first half of the 20th century. Another thing that makes Miles different in helping to develop musicians is that Miles' band members ended up being so great in their own right. The list of musicians guided and influenced by Miles is long... but include Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Wallace Roney,
John Coltrane, Paul Chambers, Tony Williams, Ron Carter, Julian "Cannonball" Adderly, Chick Corea, John Mclaughlin, Jack Dejohnette, & Philly Joe Jones, just to name a few.

He was one of the first Jazz artists to push bounderies with Rock & Roll & Funk, essentially leading to the creation of Jazz-Rock Fusion, Electric Jazz, and Contemporary Jazz (what we hear today). He let the jazz world know that the rules had changed and that it was alright to go outside of the traditional jazz box.

He has already been immortalized many times, just by his work. This is yet another honor. He is making history once again.

Listen to stories from NPR:

About the induction

A review of a CD box set showcasing 1970's Jazz/Rock/Funk fusion.

Story from Ed Gordon. Part 1, and Part 2 discussing release by Miles alumn Wallace Roney.


Don Cheadle being tapped to play the lead role in a movie about the life of Miles Davis.

Story here...

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