149 Facts About Miles Davis


Miles Dewey Davis III was an American trumpeter, bandleader, and composer.


Miles Davis is among the most influential and acclaimed figures in the history of jazz and 20th-century music.


Miles 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.


Miles Davis 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, Miles 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".


Miles Davis had an older sister, Dorothy Mae, and a younger brother, Vernon.


Miles Davis's mother, Cleota Mae Henry of Arkansas, was a music teacher and violinist, and his father, Miles Dewey Davis Jr.


Miles Davis's grandparents were the owners of an Arkansas farm where he would spend many summers.


From 1932 to 1934, Miles Davis attended John Robinson Elementary School, an all-black school, then Crispus Attucks, where he performed well in mathematics, music, and sports.


In 1935, Miles Davis received his first trumpet as a gift from John Eubanks, a friend of his father.


Miles Davis took lessons from "the biggest influence on my life," Elwood Buchanan, a teacher and musician who was a patient of his father.


Miles Davis's mother wanted him to play the violin instead.


Miles Davis said that whenever he started playing with heavy vibrato, Buchanan slapped his knuckles.


Miles Davis took additional trumpet lessons from Joseph Gustat, principal trumpeter of the St Louis Symphony Orchestra.


Years later, Miles Davis said that he was discriminated against in these competitions due to his race, but he added that these experiences made him a better musician.


Miles Davis had a band that performed at the Elks Club.


Miles Davis befriended trumpeter Clark Terry, who suggested he play without vibrato, and performed with him for several years.


Miles Davis became the band's musical director, which involved hiring musicians and scheduling rehearsal.


Years later, Miles Davis considered this job one of the most important of his career.


Trumpeter Buddy Anderson was too sick to perform, so Miles Davis was invited to join.


Miles Davis played with the band for two weeks at Club Riviera.


Miles Davis's mother wanted him to go to Fisk University, like his sister, and study piano or violin.


In September 1944, Miles Davis accepted his father's idea of studying at the Juilliard School of Music in New York City.


Much of Miles Davis's time was spent in clubs seeking his idol, Charlie Parker.


Miles Davis reunited with Cawthon and their daughter when they moved to New York City.


Around this time Miles Davis was paid an allowance of $40.


In mid-1945, Miles Davis failed to register for the year's autumn term at Juilliard and dropped out after three semesters because he wanted to perform full-time.


Miles Davis began performing at clubs on 52nd Street with Coleman Hawkins and Eddie "Lockjaw" Miles Davis.


Miles Davis recorded for the first time on April 24,1945, when he entered the studio as a sideman for Herbie Fields's band.


In 1945, Miles Davis replaced Dizzy Gillespie in Charlie Parker's quintet.


On Parker's tune "Now's the Time", Miles Davis played a solo that anticipated cool jazz.


Miles Davis next joined a big band led by Benny Carter, performing in St Louis and remaining with the band in California.


In March 1946, Miles Davis played in studio sessions with Parker and began a collaboration with bassist Charles Mingus that summer.


Miles Davis was a member of Billy Eckstine's big band in 1946 and Gillespie's in 1947.


Miles Davis joined a quintet led by Parker that included Max Roach.


Miles Davis returned to Parker's quintet, but relationships within the quintet were growing tense mainly due to Parker's erratic behavior caused by his drug addiction.


Early in his time with Parker, Miles Davis abstained from drugs, chose a vegetarian diet, and spoke of the benefits of water and juice.


In December 1948, Miles Davis quit, saying he was not being paid.


Miles Davis's departure began a period when he worked mainly as a freelancer and sideman.


Miles Davis's nonet remained active until the end of 1949.


The presence of white musicians in the group angered some black players, many of whom were unemployed at the time, yet Miles Davis rebuffed their criticisms.


In May 1949, Miles Davis performed with the Tadd Dameron Quintet with Kenny Clarke and James Moody at the Paris International Jazz Festival.


On his first trip abroad Miles Davis took a strong liking to Paris and its cultural environment, where he felt black jazz musicians and people of color in general were better respected than in the US The trip, he said, "changed the way I looked at things forever".


Miles Davis began an affair with singer and actress Juliette Greco.


Miles Davis was falling behind in hotel rent and attempts were made to repossess his car.


Miles Davis befriended boxer Johnny Bratton which began his interest in the sport.


Miles Davis left Cawthon and his three children in New York City in the hands of his friend, jazz singer Betty Carter.


Miles Davis toured with Eckstine and Billie Holiday and was arrested for heroin possession in Los Angeles.


In January 1951, Miles Davis's fortunes improved when he signed a one-year contract with Prestige after owner Bob Weinstock became a fan of the nonet.


Miles Davis was hired for other studio dates in 1951 and began to transcribe scores for record labels to fund his heroin addiction.


Miles Davis supported his heroin habit by playing music and by living the life of a hustler, exploiting prostitutes, and receiving money from friends.


Miles Davis returned to St Louis and stayed with his father for several months.


Miles Davis lived in Detroit for about six months, avoiding New York City, where it was easy to get drugs.


However, he was able to end his addiction, and, in February 1954, Miles Davis returned to New York City, feeling good "for the first time in a long time", mentally and physically stronger, and joined a gym.


Miles Davis informed Weinstock and Blue Note that he was ready to record with a quintet, which he was granted.


Miles Davis was paid roughly $750 for each album and refused to give away his publishing rights.


Miles Davis abandoned the bebop style and turned to the music of pianist Ahmad Jamal, whose approach and use of space influenced him.


When he returned to the studio in June 1955 to record The Musings of Miles Davis, he wanted a pianist like Jamal and chose Red Garland.


Miles Davis assumed a central role in hard bop, less radical in harmony and melody, and used popular songs and American standards as starting points for improvisation.


Miles Davis gained a reputation for being cold, distant, and easily angered.


Miles Davis wrote that in 1954 Sugar Ray Robinson "was the most important thing in my life besides music", and he adopted Robinson's "arrogant attitude".


Miles Davis had an operation to remove polyps from his larynx in October 1955.


Miles Davis was called the "prince of darkness", adding a patina of mystery to his public persona.


In July 1955, Miles Davis's fortunes improved considerably when he played at the Newport Jazz Festival, with a line-up of Monk, Heath, drummer Connie Kay, and horn players Zoot Sims and Gerry Mulligan.


Miles Davis tied with Dizzy Gillespie for best trumpeter in the 1955 DownBeat magazine Readers' Poll.


George Avakian of Columbia Records heard Miles Davis perform at Newport and wanted to sign him to the label.


Miles Davis had one year left on his contract with Prestige, which required him to release four more albums.


Miles Davis signed a contract with Columbia that included a $4,000 advance and required that his recordings for Columbia remain unreleased until his agreement with Prestige expired.


Miles Davis played long, legato, melodic lines, while Coltrane contrasted with energetic solos.


Miles Davis then returned home, reunited his quintet and toured the US for two months.


Miles Davis was trying to live a healthier life by exercising and reducing his alcohol.


In November 1957, Miles Davis went to Paris and recorded the soundtrack to Ascenseur pour l'echafaud.


Miles Davis wanted someone who could play modal jazz, so he hired Bill Evans, a young pianist with a background in classical music.


Avakian agreed that it was time for Miles Davis to explore something different, but Miles Davis rejected his suggestion of returning to his nonet as he considered that a step backward.


Miles Davis accepted and worked with Gil Evans in what became a five-album collaboration from 1957 to 1962.


Miles Davis performed with an orchestra conducted by Evans at Carnegie Hall in May 1961 to raise money for charity.


In March and April 1959, Miles Davis recorded what some consider his greatest album, Kind of Blue.


Miles Davis called back Bill Evans, as the music had been planned around Evans's piano style.


Miles Davis said that he was working at the club, and he refused to move.


Miles Davis was taken to jail, charged with assaulting an officer, then taken to the hospital where he received five stitches.


Miles Davis later stated the incident "changed my whole life and whole attitude again, made me feel bitter and cynical again when I was starting to feel good about the things that had changed in this country".


Miles Davis persuaded Coltrane to play with the group on one final European tour in the spring of 1960.


Rollins left them soon after, leaving Miles Davis to pay over $25,000 to cancel upcoming gigs and quickly assemble a new group.


Miles Davis needed medical attention for hip pain, which had worsened since his Japanese tour during the previous year.


Miles Davis underwent hip replacement surgery in April 1965, with bone taken from his shin, but it failed.


In January 1966, Miles Davis spent three months in the hospital with a liver infection.


Miles Davis started a relationship with actress Cicely Tyson, who helped him reduce his alcohol consumption.


Miles Davis's bands performed this way until his hiatus in 1975.


Miles Davis began experimenting with more rock-oriented rhythms on these records.


Miles Davis soon took over the compositional duties of his sidemen.


The album contained long compositions, some over twenty minutes, that were never played in the studio but were constructed from several takes by Macero and Miles Davis via splicing and tape loops amid epochal advances in multitrack recording technologies.


In March 1970, Miles Davis began to perform as the opening act for rock bands, allowing Columbia to market Bitches Brew to a larger audience.


Miles Davis recorded a soundtrack album for the 1970 documentary film about heavyweight boxer Jack Johnson, containing two long pieces of 25 and 26 minutes in length with Hancock, McLaughlin, Sonny Sharrock, and Billy Cobham.


Miles Davis was committed to making music for African-Americans who liked more commercial, pop, groove-oriented music.


Miles Davis invited Buckmaster to New York City to oversee the writing and recording of the album with Macero.


Miles Davis felt that Columbia marketed it to the wrong audience.


Miles Davis took painkillers and cocaine to cope with the pain.


The length, density, and unforgiving nature of it mocked those who said that Miles Davis was interested only in being trendy and popular.


Miles Davis then concentrated on live performance with a series of concerts that Columbia released on the double live albums Agharta, Pangaea, and Dark Magus.


The first two are recordings of two sets from February 1,1975, in Osaka, by which time Miles Davis was troubled by several physical ailments; he relied on alcohol, codeine, and morphine to get through the engagements.


Miles Davis's shows were routinely panned by critics who mentioned his habit of performing with his back to the audience.


Cosey later asserted that "the band really advanced after the Japanese tour", but Miles Davis was again hospitalized, for his ulcers and a hernia, during a tour of the US while opening for Herbie Hancock.


In 1978, Davis asked fusion guitarist Larry Coryell to participate in sessions with keyboardists Masabumi Kikuchi and George Pavlis, bassist T M Stevens, and drummer Al Foster.


Miles Davis played the arranged piece uptempo, abandoned his trumpet for the organ, and had Macero record the session without the band's knowledge.


Miles Davis recorded The Man with the Horn from June 1980 to May 1981 with Macero producing.


In June 1981, Miles Davis returned to the stage for the first time since 1975 in a ten-minute guest solo as part of Mel Lewis's band at the Village Vanguard.


Recordings from a mixture of dates from 1981, including from the Kix in Boston and Avery Fisher Hall, were released on We Want Miles Davis, which earned him a Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance by a Soloist.


In January 1982, while Tyson was working in Africa, Miles Davis "went a little wild" with alcohol and suffered a stroke that temporarily paralyzed his right hand.


Miles Davis listened to his doctor's warnings and gave up alcohol and drugs.


Miles Davis credited Tyson with helping his recovery, which involved exercise, piano playing, and visits to spas.


Miles Davis encouraged him to draw, which he pursued for the rest of his life.


Miles Davis resumed touring in May 1982 with a line-up that included percussionist Mino Cinelu and guitarist John Scofield, with whom he worked closely on the album Star People.


Miles Davis brought in producer, composer, and keyboardist Robert Irving III, who had collaborated with him on The Man with the Horn.


In May 1985, one month into a tour, Miles Davis signed a contract with Warner Bros.


Miles Davis considered releasing an album of pop songs, and he recorded dozens of them, but the idea was rejected.


Miles Davis said that many of today's jazz standards had been pop songs in Broadway theater and that he was simply updating the standards repertoire.


Miles Davis collaborated with a number of figures from the British post-punk and new wave movements during this period, including Scritti Politti.


Miles Davis collaborated with Prince on a song titled "Can I Play With U," which went unreleased until 2020.


Miles Davis collaborated with Zane Giles and Randy Hall on the Rubberband sessions in 1985 but those would remain unreleased until 2019.


Also in 1987, Miles Davis contacted American journalist Quincy Troupe to work with him on his autobiography.


In 1988, Miles Davis had a small part as a street musician in the Christmas comedy film Scrooged starring Bill Murray.


Later that month, Miles Davis cut his European tour short after he collapsed and fainted after a two-hour show in Madrid and flew home.


Shukat said Miles Davis had been in the hospital for a mild case of pneumonia and the removal of a benign polyp on his vocal cords and was resting comfortably in preparation for his 1989 tours.


Miles Davis later blamed one of his former wives or girlfriends for starting the rumor and decided against taking legal action.


Miles Davis was interviewed on 60 Minutes by Harry Reasoner.


Miles Davis followed Tutu with Amandla and soundtracks to four films: Street Smart, Siesta, The Hot Spot, and Dingo.


On July 8,1991, Miles Davis returned to performing material from his past at the 1991 Montreux Jazz Festival with a band and orchestra conducted by Quincy Jones.


In 1957, Miles Davis began a relationship with Frances Taylor, a dancer he had met in 1953 at Ciro's in Los Angeles.


Miles Davis hallucinated, "looking for this imaginary person" in his house while wielding a kitchen knife.


Miles Davis filed for divorce in 1966; it was finalized in February 1968.


In September 1968, Miles Davis married 23-year-old model and songwriter Betty Mabry.


Miles Davis liked James Brown, Sly and the Family Stone, and Jimi Hendrix, whose group Band of Gypsys particularly impressed Davis.


Miles Davis filed for divorce from Mabry in 1969, after accusing her of having an affair with Hendrix.


In October 1969, Miles Davis was shot at five times while in his car with one of his two lovers, Marguerite Eskridge.


Miles Davis became increasingly aggressive in his final year due in part to the medication he was taking, and his aggression manifested as violence towards Gelbard.


In early September 1991, Miles Davis checked into St John's Hospital near his home in Santa Monica, California, for routine tests.


The suggestion provoked an outburst from Miles Davis that led to an intracerebral hemorrhage followed by a coma.


Miles Davis's death was attributed to the combined effects of a stroke, pneumonia, and respiratory failure.


Miles Davis was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, New York City, with one of his trumpets, near the site of Duke Ellington's grave.


At the time of his death, Miles Davis's estate was valued at more than $1 million.


Miles Davis excluded his two sons Gregory and Miles IV.


Late in his life, from the "electric period" onwards, Miles Davis repeatedly explained his reasons for not wishing to perform his earlier works, such as Birth of the Cool or Kind of Blue.


Miles Davis commented: 'So What' or Kind of Blue, they were done in that era, the right hour, the right day, and it happened.


Miles Davis is considered one of the most innovative, influential, and respected figures in the history of music.


Miles Davis's approach, owing largely to the African-American performance tradition that focused on individual expression, emphatic interaction, and creative response to shifting contents, had a profound impact on generations of jazz musicians.


In 2016, digital publication The Pudding, in an article examining Miles Davis's legacy, found that 2,452 Wikipedia pages mention Miles Davis, with over 286 citing him as an influence.


The trumpet Miles Davis used on the recording is displayed on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.


In 2006, Miles Davis was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


Club published an article titled "Miles Davis beat his wives and made beautiful music".