Artist picture of Miles Davis

Miles Davis

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Miles Davis was 12 when given a trumpet by his father, a dentist, and never looked back. He swiftly became accomplished, joined his first band at 17 and won a place at the Juilliard School of Music in New York. There he became a regular at Harlem night clubs and made his first recording with Herbie Fields in 1945. Davis joined Charlie Parker's quintet and, by the late 1940s he'd teamed up with Gil Evans and Gerry Mulligan, mixing black and white music to create a new kind of jazz inspired in part by classical music which became dubbed "cool jazz" after Davis' 1956 compilation, Birth Of The Cool. Overcoming heroin addiction, he developed a moodier bluesy style that came to be called hard bop, his playing shaped by extensive use of a mute. In the late 1950s Davis embraced other musical forms on the albums Milestones, Sketches Of Spain and Quiet Nights and, in 1959, released the seminal A Kind Of Blue, the best-selling jazz album of all time. He continued to experiment through the 1960s and, heavily influenced by German composer Stockhausen, fused jazz with electronica on the influential 1970s albums Bitches Brew and In A Silent Way. Rejecting jazz, Davis then moved into the rock market but, again plagued by drugs, his output lessened through the 1980s and he died in 1991. Artist biography compiled by BDS/West 10. All rights reserved