Even if you don't think you like jazz, I bet you've heard of Miles Davis. As one of the most important musicians of all time, jazz or otherwise, his music and influence can be seen everywhere. For example, Davis' Kind of Blue can be heard in movies like Pleasantville and television shows like The Wire. There are several books, including The Blue Moment, about the impact of his music. Miles Ahead, the new Miles Davis biopic staring Don Cheadle and Ewan McGregor, shows there's more to this artist than just one album. There's no better time than Throwback Thursday to explore the man and his music.
And there's no better place to start than one of the most highly regarded books about his life, Miles Davis: The Definitive Biography. Author Ian Carr interviewed many of the artists who knew Davis, giving this book a unique and intimate perspective into a complicated life.
Of course, another great way to get to know Miles Davis is through his music. Kind of Blue is already a must listen, but one of my favorite albums is Milestones. The title track gets stuck in my head at least once a week. I tend to prefer the more classic albums, but Miles Davis was at the forefront of many jazz innovations for decades. In A Silent Way catches the master right before he fully transitions into a new era. I found it to be accessible but also interesting to listen to.
Once you've tried his early music, dare to be different and check out some of his fusion. Bitches Brew was alternatively considered a masterpiece and a confusing rock/jazz hybrid. But it made a huge impact on jazz and encouraged both listeners and musicians to try something new. This album also helped induct Miles Davis into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
These are only a few of his masterpieces. Miles Davis was a prolific artist, with over 30 studio albums and many more live albums for you to enjoy. Take a look at this list of albums and find a new favorite today to celebrate Miles Davis' 90th birth anniversary in style!