75 Facts About Miles Davis

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

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2. Miles 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.

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3. Miles Davis made several line-up changes while recording Someday My Prince Will Come, his 1961 Blackhawk concerts, and Seven Steps to Heaven (1963), another mainstream success that introduced bassist Ron Carter, pianist Herbie Hancock, and drummer Tony Williams.

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4. 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".

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5. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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16. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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22. 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.

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

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24. 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".

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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34. 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.

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

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36. 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".

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

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

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

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40. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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54. 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.

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55. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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61. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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67. Miles Davis was interviewed on 60 Minutes by Harry Reasoner.

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68. Miles Davis became increasingly aggressive in his final year due in part to the medication he was taking.

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

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70. 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.

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71. Miles Davis excluded his two sons Gregory and Miles IV.

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

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73. Miles Davis was the most widely recognized jazz musician of his era, an outspoken social critic and an arbiter of style—in attitude and fashion—as well as music.

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

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

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