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Obituary

Miles Davis

Frequently Asked Questions:
When did Miles Davis Die? Answer: September 28th, 1991 aged 65.
What caused Miles Davis's death? Answer: stroke, pneumonia and respiratory failure.

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Miles Davis died aged sixty-five in St. John's Hospital, Hospital, Santa Monica, California, U.S.A. on 28th September 1991. Miles had had a cerebral haemorrhage, followed by a coma and had several days on life support. His death was officially reasoned as the combined effects of a stroke, pneumonia and respiratory failure. A funeral service was held on October 5th 1991 at St. Peter's Church in New York City that was attended by around 500 friends, family members, and musical acquaintances, with many fans standing outside in the rain. Miles Davis was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, New York City, with one of his trumpets and close to the site of fellow jazz musician and his early idol, Duke Ellington.
In early September 1991, Miles Davis had checked into the hospital near his home in Santa Monica, California, for routine tests. During his stay, his doctors suggested he have a tracheal tube implanted to relieve his breathing following his repeated bouts of bronchial pneumonia.
Miles Davis was born on May 26th 1926 into an affluent middle class African-American family in Alton, Illinois, USA. He had an older sister, Dorothy Mae, and a younger brother, Vernon . His father, Miles Dewey Davis II of Arkansas, was a successful dental surgeon who earned three college degrees, and his mother Cleota Mae Davis (née Henry), also of Arkansas, was a music teacher and violinist. They owned a 200-acre estate near Pine Bluff, Arkansas that housed a profitable pig farm where Miles Davis and his siblings would ride horses, fish, and hunt. In 1927, the family moved to East St. Louis, Illinois, living on the second floor of a commercial building in a predominantly white neighborhood behind a dental office. By 1941, his parents divorced. From 1932 to 1934, Miles Davis attended John Robinson Elementary School, an all-black institution, followed by Crispus Attucks School where he performed well in mathematics, music, and sports. As a youngster Miles Davis developed his earliest appreciation for music, citing the blues, big bands, and gospel music. pic of Miles Davis
In 1935, Miles Davis received his first trumpet as a gift from John Eubanks, a friend of his father, and later took weekly lessons with his father's patient; teacher and musician Elwood Buchanan. His mother objected to the choice of instrument as she preferred her son take up the violin. Against the fashion of the time, Buchanan stressed the importance of playing without vibrato and encouraged him to adopt a more clear, mid-range tone; Miles Davis claimed he would slap his knuckles every time he started using heavy vibrato. Miles Davis would carry his clear signature tone throughout his career. He once remarked on its importance to him, saying, "I prefer a round sound with no attitude in it, like a round voice with not too much tremolo and not too much bass. Just right in the middle. If I can't get that sound I can't play anything." In 1939, the family moved to East St. Louis. For his thirteenth birthday that year Miles Davis' father bought his son a new trumpet,and Miles began to play in local bands, earning as much as $85 a week. Around this time Miles Davis took additional trumpet lessons from Joseph Gustat, principal trumpeter of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.
In 1941, the fifteen year-old Miles Davis began at East St. Louis Lincoln High School where he joined the school's marching band directed by Buchanan and entered music competitions. Miles Davis claimed the contests he did not win was largely down to prejudice over his race, but cited such experiences to become a better musician. Miles Davis proceeded to improve his understanding of music after a drummer he played with around this time suggested he play a passage from the previous night, yet Miles was unable to comprehend what he meant. "That hit me ... I went and got everything, every book I could get to learn about theory". It was at Lincoln High where Miles Davis met his first girlfriend, Irene Birth (later Cawthon). Miles had formed his own group by this time, performing in various local venues such as Elks Club and Huff's Beer Garden with hits such as "In the Mood" by Glenn Miller. ] A portion of his earnings went towards his sister's education at Fisk University. Miles Davis also befriended trumpeter Clark Terry, who also suggested he play without vibrato and performed together in various capacities for several years.
In 1943, at Buchanan's recommendation and Cawthon's persuasion, Miles Davis filled a vacant spot in Eddie Randle's Rhumboogie Orchestra, also known as the 'Blue Devils', and eventually became its musical director which involved the scheduling of rehearsals and hiring newcomers. Miles Davis later acknowledged his tenure as one of the most important of his career. During this time, Sonny Stitt tried to persuade him to join the Tiny Bradshaw band, then passing through town, but Miles Davis' mother insisted that he finish his final year of high school before he could tour. He said, "I didn't talk to her for two weeks. And I didn't go with the band either". In January 1944, Miles Davis finished his studies at East St. Louis Lincoln High School and graduated in absentia in June.
In July 1944, Billy Eckstine and his big band, which featured Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, and Art Blakey, visited St. Louis for a series of performances. They needed a stand-in after third trumpeter Buddy Anderson was too ill to attend. They invited Miles Davis, who accepted and played with the group for two weeks at Club Riviera. The experience was a profound one on Miles Davis, after which he "had to be in New York, where the action was". However, his mother wished for him to continue with his education and study the piano or violin at Fisk University with his sister, which Miles declined.
In September 1944, Miles Davis accepted his father's idea of studying at the Institute of Musical Arts, later known as the Juilliard School, in New York City. Miles Davis passed his audition and attended classes in music theory, piano and dictation, but soon lost focus and spent much of his time in the club scene and locating Parker, despite being advised against doing so by several people he met in his search, including Coleman Hawkins. After finally locating his idol, Miles Davis became one of the cadre of musicians who held nightly jam sessions at two Harlem nightclubs, Minton's Playhouse and Monroe's. The group included many of the future leaders of the bebop revolution such as Fats Navarro, Freddie Webster, and J. J. Johnson. Established musicians including Thelonious Monk and Kenny Clarke were also regular participants. In December 1944, Miles Davis reunited with Cawthon and their daughter when they relocated to New York City, the three living in the same building as Parker who eventually became a roommate.
In mid-1945, Miles Davis failed to register for the year's autumn term of study at Juilliard and dropped out after three semesters as he wished to commit to jazz performance full-time. His father advised his son to avoid sounding like everyone else and find his own style yet remained supportive and continued to send over money until Miles could earn enough on his own. Miles Davis later criticized the school's classes for centering too much on the classical European and "white" repertoire, but credited the institution for his education in music theory and improving his trumpet playing technique. Miles Davis began playing professionally, performing in several 52nd Street clubs with Hawkins and Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis and, on 24th April 1945, recorded his first sessions in a recording studio as part of Herbie Fields's group with Henry "Rubberlegs" Williams, his first of many as a sideman. Miles Davis' first recording as leader came in 1946 with an occasional group named the Miles Davis Sextet plus Earl Coleman and Ann Hathaway; one of the rare occasions when Miles Davis is heard accompanying singers. Miles Davis would not record another session as leader until 1947.
After Gillespie split from Parker's quintet in 1945, Miles Davis took his place in October and the group performed a residency at various clubs on 52nd Street. On November 26th Miles Davis took part several recording sessions as part of Parker's group Reboppers that also involved Gillespie and Roach, displaying hints of the style he would become known for. During a take of Parker's signature song "Now's the Time", Miles Davis takes a melodic solo, whose unbop-like quality anticipates the cool jazz period that followed. In 1946, Miles Davis played in a big and small band led by Benny Carter in St. Louis and travels with the group for performances in California. During his time on the west coast, Miles Davis performed with Parker who had also travelled there with Gillespie. During a stop in Los Angeles, Parker suffered from a nervous breakdown that landed him in hospital for several months, leaving Miles Davis stranded. Miles secured a spot on Eckstine's California tour which eventually brought him back to New York City in late 1946. In March 1946, Miles Davis played in studio sessions with Parker and began a collaboration with bassist Charles Mingus that summer, during which Cawthon gave birth to Miles' second child, Gregory, in East St. Louis before reuniting with him in New York City the following year. Miles Davis noted that by this time "I was still so much into the music that I was even ignoring Irene", and was drinking and doing cocaine.
Following the break-up of Eckstine's band in early 1947, Miles Davis secured work by playing in a big band led by Gillespie and Illinois Jacquet, and joining a new quintet led by Parker in April that also included Roach. Together they performed live with Duke Jordan and Tommy Potter for much of the year, including several studio sessions. In one session that May, Miles Davis penned the tune "Cheryl", named after his daughter. Miles Davis' first session as a leader followed in August 1947, playing as the Miles Davis All Stars that included Parker, pianist John Lewis, and bassist Nelson Boyd; together they recorded "Milestones", "Half Nelson", and "Sippin' at Bells". After touring Chicago and Detroit with Parker's quintet, Miles Davis returned to New York City in March 1948 and joined the Jazz at the Philharmonic tour which included a stop in St. Louis on April 30th.
In August 1948, Miles Davis declined an offer to join Duke Ellington's orchestra as he had entered rehearsals with a new, nine-piece band with pianist and arranger Gil Evans and baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan, taking an active role that soon became his own project. Evans' Manhattan apartment had become the meeting place for several young musicians and composers such as Miles Davis, Roach, Lewis, and Mulligan who were unhappy with the increasingly virtuoso instrumental techniques that dominated the bebop scene. This led to the formation of The Miles Davis Nonet which featured a more unusual line-up with a French horn and tuba. The objective was to achieve a sound similar to the human voice, through carefully arranged compositions and by emphasizing a relaxed, melodic approach to the improvisations. In September, the band completed their sole engagement as the openers for Count Basie at the Royal Roost for two weeks. Miles Davis had to persuade the venue's manager to word the advertising sign as "Miles Davis Nonet. Arrangements by Gil Evans, John Lewis and Gerry Mulligan". He prevailed only with the help of Monte Kay, the club's artistic director. Miles Davis rejoined Parker's quintet soon after, but relationships within the quintet were growing tense mainly due to Parker's erratic behavior caused by his drug addiction. Early into his tenure with Parker, Miles Davis had adopted a lifestyle of drug abstinence, a vegetarian diet, and spoke of the benefits of water and juice. Matters worsened when Miles Davis and Roach objected to the addition of pianist Duke Jordan and preferred to hire Bud Powell. The situation culminated in December 1948 when Miles Davis quit, claiming he was not being paid.
Miles Davis' split from Parker marked the beginning of a period when he worked mainly as a freelancer and sideman in some of the most important combos in the New York City jazz scene. His nonet remained active until the end of 1949; after landing a recording deal with Capitol Records they recorded sessions in January and April 1949, including the singles "Move" and "Boplicity" which sold little but became influential pieces of music on the "cool" or "west coast" style of jazz. The line-up changed throughout the year and included the additions of tuba player Bill Barber, alto saxophonist Lee Konitz, who had been preferred to Sonny Stitt as his style was considered too bop-oriented, pianist Al Haig, trombone players Mike Zwerin with Kai Winding, French horn players Junior Collins with Sandy Siegelstein and Gunther Schuller, and bassists Al McKibbon and Joe Shulman. One track featured singer Kenny Hagood. 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. Recording sessions with the nonet for Capital Records continued until April 1950; much of it remained unreleased until the issue of Birth of the Cool (1957), its name given to the cool jazz movement that had developed and the musical direction the group had taken.
In May 1949, Miles Davis performed with the Tadd Dameron Quintet with Kenny Clarke and James Moody at the Paris International Jazz Festival, his first trip abroad. Miles Davis took a strong liking for Paris and its cultural environment, where black jazz musicians, and African Americans in general, were better respected than America. The trip, he described, "changed the way I looked at things forever". During his time there Miles Davis began a love affair with singer and actress Juliette Gréco which lasted for several years.
The early 1950's was a period of great difficulty for Miles Davis. Upon his return from Paris in mid-1949, he became depressed and could only secure little amounts of work which included a short engagement with Powell in October, and guest spots in New York City, Chicago, and Detroit until January 1950. To make matters worse, Davis was falling behind in hotel rent and numerous attempts were made to repossess his car. His heroin use became an expensive addition, and Miles Davis, yet to reach 24 years old, lost his sense of discipline, lost his sense of control over his life, and started to drift. In August 1950, during a family trip to East St. Louis and Chicago in an attempt to improve their fortunes, Cawthon gave birth to Miles Davis' second son, Miles IV, in Chicago. The latter was where Miles befriended boxer Johnny Bratton and began his strong interest in the sport. Soon after, Miles Davis left Cawthon and his three children in New York City in the hands of his friend and jazz singer Betty Carter who allowed his family to move in with her and looked after the children. Miles Davis remained thankful to Carter for the rest of his life. Miles Davis then toured with Eckstine and Billie Holiday in their backing bands, during which he was arrested for heroin possession in Los Angeles. The story was reported in Down Beat magazine, which caused a further reduction of work for him, though he was acquitted weeks later.
In January 1951, Miles Davis' fortunes improved when he secured a one-year recording contract with Prestige Records, an independent jazz label, after owner Bob Weinstock became a fan of Miles Davis' nonet. Miles Davis chose Lewis, trombone player Bennie Green, bassist Percy Heath, saxophonist Sonny Rollins, and drummer Roy Hanes; together they recorded what became a portion of Miles Davis and Horns. Miles Davis secured further studio dates for other artists in March, June, and September 1951, and had started taking up work transcribing scores for record labels to fund his heroin addiction. The following month, Miles Davis recorded his second session for Prestige as band leader, the material of which was later released on The New Sounds (1951), Dig (1956), and Conception (1956).
During his heroin addiction, Miles Davis supported his habit partly with his music and partly by living the life of a hustler, exploiting prostitutes and receiving money from friends. By 1953, his addiction began to impair his playing ability and his drug habit became public in a Down Beat interview with Cab Calloway, who Miles Davis never forgave as it brought him "all pain and suffering". After learning of his father's support, Miles Davis returned to St. Louis and stayed with him for several months to aid his recovery. Though he continued to score heroin out of boredom, Miles Davis caught up with Roach and Mingus in September 1953 who were on their way to Los Angeles for performances. Miles Davis joined them, but the trip caused numerous arguments and problems. Miles Davis returned to his father's home, determined to kick his habit. He locked himself inside the guest house and stayed inside for about seven or eight days until he had gone through the painful and illness-inducing withdrawals.
After kicking his heroin addiction Miles Davis stayed in Detroit for around six months, avoiding New York City where it was easy to score drugs. Though he did take heroin during his stay, he was healthy enough to resume live performances in local venues, playing with drummer Elvin Jones and pianist Tommy Flanagan as part of Billy Mitchell's house band at the Blue Bird club. A widely related story, attributed to Richard "Prophet" Jennings, was that Davis stumbled into Baker's Keyboard Lounge out of the rain, carrying his trumpet in a paper bag under his coat, walked to the bandstand and interrupted Roach and Clifford Brown in the midst of performing "Sweet Georgia Brown" and played "My Funny Valentine" before leaving. Miles Davis was supposedly embarrassed into getting clean by this incident. He later disputed this account, stating that Roach had invited him to play and that his decision to finally quit heroin was unrelated to the incident, citing his idol boxer Sugar Ray Robinson as an inspiration to get clean and resume his career.
In February 1954 Miles Davis returned to New York City, feeling mentally and physically stronger, and joined a gym. He informed Weinstock and management at Blue Note Records that he was ready to record music with a quintet, which he was granted and set the task of recording more music than before to make up for lost time. Miles Davis considered two albums with sessions recorded from this time, Miles Davis Quartet (1954) for Prestige and Miles Davis Volume 2 (1956) for Blue Note, as "very important" to him as he felt his performances were particularly strong. By now he had abandoned the bebop style and got to know the music of pianist Ahmad Jamal, whose approach and use of space greatly influenced him. When Miles Davis returned to the studio in June 1955 to record Miles Davis Quartet and sought a new pianist, he wished for someone who played like Jamal and picked Red Garland. .
Between 1951 and 1954, Miles Davis released many records on Prestige with varied line-ups, many with Rollins and Blakey. Such albums include Blue Haze (1956), Bags' Groove (1957), Walkin' (1957), and Miles Davis and the Modern Jazz Giants (1959), recorded after his recovery from heroin addiction. They document the evolution of Miles Davis' style and sound, including the fixture of the Harmon mute, also known as a wah-wah mute, onto his trumpet and placed close to the microphone which became his signature sound, and more spacious, melodic, and relaxed phrasing. Miles Davis assumed a central position in what is known as hard bop, a contrast to bebop as hard bop included slower tempos and a less radical approach to harmony and melody, often adopting popular tunes and American standards as starting points for improvisation. Hard bop also distanced itself from cool jazz with its harder beat and blues-inspired music.
Miles Davis had an operation to remove polyps from his larynx in October 1955. Even though he was not supposed to speak at all, he had an argument with somebody and raised his voice. This outburst damaged his vocal cords forever, giving him the characteristic raspy voice that came to be associated with him. The "nocturnal" quality of Miles Davis' playing and his somber reputation, along with his whispering voice, earned him the lasting moniker of "prince of darkness", adding a patina of mystery to his public persona.
In July 1955, Miles Davis' fortunes improved considerably when he landed a last minute booking at the second annual Newport Jazz Festival on July 17, with a line-up of Monk, Heath, drummer Connie Kay, and horn players Zoot Sims and Gerry Mulligan. Miles Davis convinced organizer George Wein that he should be on the bill, and Wein complied. The performance was hailed as a triumph by critics and widened Miles Davis' music to the larger affluent white audience, and he soon tied first place with Gillespie in the 1955 Down Beat reader's poll in the trumpet category. Miles Davis noted that after his set at Newport "things began to happen". Among them was the start of his longtime association with Columbia Records after producer George Avakian saw him perform at Newport and wished to sign him. With a year remaining on his Prestige agreement, which required Miles Davis to release four more albums, he secured a contract with Columbia which included a $4,000 advance and a condition that his recordings for the label remained unreleased until his Prestige agreement had expired.
After recording sessions for Mingus for his newly established Debut label, and a successful gig at Café Bohemia with Rollins, Garland, Chambers, and drummer Philly Joe Jones, Miles Davis used this line-up to record his final sessions for Prestige. It took Miles two sessions, held on 11th May and 26th October, 1956, to record enough material to fulfil his contract which was released in a series of four albums: Cookin' with the Miles Davis Quintet (1957), Relaxin' with the Miles Davis Quintet (1958), Workin' with the Miles Davis Quintet (1959), and Steamin' with the Miles Davis Quintet (1961), each being instrumental in establishing Miles Davis' quintet as one of the best on the scene.
In mid-1955, Miles Davis recruited players for what became known as his first "great quintet" of Garland, Chambers, Jones, and tenor saxophonist John Coltrane, who was chosen after the unsuccessful attempt to recruit Julian "Cannonball" Adderley. Neither of Miles Davis' picks were widely known at the time, nor had they received a great deal of exposure. The five debuted on record with the widely received 'Round About Midnight' (1957), Davis' first for Columbia. Their live repertoire included a mix of bebop mainstays, jazz standards from the Great American Songbook and pre-bop eras, and traditional tunes. The prevailing style of the group was a development of the Miles Davis experience in the previous years—Miles Davis playing long, legato, and essentially melodic lines, while Coltrane, who during these years emerged as a leading figure on the musical scene, contrasted by playing high-energy solos.
In November 1956, Miles Davis split his quintet temporarily to tour Europe as part of the Birdland All-Stars, formed of himself, the Modern Jazz Quartet, and a line-up of French and German musicians. During his stay in Paris, he reunited with Greco for the first time since 1949. He then returned home, reunited his quartet, and toured the US for two months from December 1956. The tour was met with internal friction however, as Miles Davis had gotten tired of Jones' and Coltrane's drug addictions, causing them to turn up late to gigs or at times not at all. Miles Davis, on the other hand, was exercising regularly and consuming alcohol in moderation, despite the occasional time he would "snort a little coke". Miles Davis fired Jones and Coltrane at the tour's end in March 1957, and were replaced by saxophonist Sonny Rollins and drummer Art Taylor.
In November 1957, Miles Davis returned to Paris where he recorded the soundtrack to Louis Malle's film Ascenseur pour l'échafaud (1958). With the aid of French session musicians Barney Wilen, Pierre Michelot, and René Urtreger, and American drummer Kenny Clarke, the group recorded the score without relying on written material and improvised as they watched the film on a screen in the studio. Miles Davis returned to New York City in December and revived his quintet with a returning Coltrane, now clean from his drug habit, and Adderley. Now a sextet, the group recorded material in early 1958 that was released on Milestones (1958), an album that first showcased Miles Davis' interest in modal jazz. Miles Davis had witnessed a performance of Les Ballets Africains from Guinea which sparked his interest in such music, then new concept that called for a slower, deliberate pace of music and allowed the creation of solos out of harmony rather than chords. Such music from the ballet featured the kalimba played for long periods of time on a single chord, weaving in and out of consonance and dissonance. By May 1958, Miles Davis had replaced Jones with drummer Jimmy Cobb and faced Garland walking out of the group, leaving him to play piano on "Sid's Ahead" on Milestones. Miles Davis wanted a new pianist who could get into modal jazz which he found in Bill Evans, a young white musician with a classical background. Evans had a unique, impressionistic approach to the piano, and his musical ideas had a strong influence on Miles . After eight months of touring, however, Evans was burned out and left in late 1958. He was replaced by Wynton Kelly who brought a swinging, bluesy approach that contrasted with Evans' more delicate playing. The six made their recording debut on a compilation album, Jazz Track (1958).
By early 1957, Miles Davis was exhausted from recording and touring with his quintet and wished to pursue new projects. During a two-week residency in Chicago in March, the thirty year-old Davis told journalists of his intention to retire at its conclusion and revealed offers he had received to become a teacher at Harvard University and a musical director at a record label. Avakian agreed that it was time for Miles Davis to explore something different, but Miles rejected his suggestion of returning to his nonet as he took it as a step backward. Avakian then suggested that Miles Davis work with a bigger ensemble, similar to what he had played on Music for Brass (1957), an album of orchestral and brass-arranged music led by Gunther Schuller featuring Miles as a guest soloist. Miles Davis accepted, and wished to work with arranger and composer Gil Evans in what became a five-album collaboration from 1957 to 1962. The first, Miles Ahead (1957), showcased Miles Davis playing a flugelhorn and a rendition "The Maids of Cadiz" by Léo Delibes, the first piece of European classical music that he recorded. Evans devised orchestral passages as transitions between each track were joined together with studio editing, turning each side of the album into a seamless piece of music. Porgy and Bess (1959) features arrangements of pieces from George Gershwin's opera which included Chambers, Jones, and Adderley. Sketches of Spain (1960) explored Spanish music with tracks by contemporary composers Joaquín Rodrigo and Manuel de Falla with originals from Evans. Recording was met with difficulties as the classical players were unable to improvise to what Evans wished for and the jazz musicians found the arrangements too difficult. "Solea" features a 10-minute trumpet solo by Miles Davis. The album was a critical success, and sold over 120,000 copies in the US. Miles Davis performed with an orchestra conducted by Evans at Carnegie Hall in May 1961 to raise money for charity. The pair's final album was Quiet Nights (1962), a collection of bossa novas released against their wishes; Evans stated it was only half an album and blamed the record company; Miles Davis blamed producer Teo Macero, to whom he did not speak for more than two years. Miles ] Davis noted later that "my best friend is Gil Evans"; their work was featured in the box set Miles Davis & Gil Evans: The Complete Columbia Studio Recordings (1996) which won a Grammy Award for Best Historical Album and Best Album Notes in 1997.
In March and April 1959, Miles Davis recorded his what many critics consider his greatest album, 'Kind of Blue' (1959). Miles named the album that described its overall mood. He called back Bill Evans, months away from forming what would become his own seminal trio, for the album sessions, as the music had been planned around Evans' piano style. Both Miles Davis and Evans were acquainted with the ideas of pianist George Russell regarding modal jazz; Miles from discussions with Russell and others before the Birth of the Cool sessions, and Evans from study with Russell in 1956. Miles Davis, however, had neglected to inform current pianist Wynton Kelly of Evans' role in the recordings; Kelly subsequently played only on the track "Freddie Freeloader" and was not present at the April dates for the album. "So What" and "All Blues" had been played by the sextet at performances prior to the recording sessions, but for the other three compositions, Miles Davis and Evans prepared skeletal harmonic frameworks that the other musicians saw for the first time on the day of recording, to allow a fresher approach to their improvisations. The resulting album has proven both highly popular and enormously influential. Released in August 1959, 'Kind of Blue' was an instant success, with widespread radio airplay and rave reviews from critics. It remains the best selling jazz album of all time; in October 2008, the album reached 4× platinum from the Recording Industry Association of America for selling over four million copies in the US alone. In 2009, the US House of Representatives voted 409–0 to pass a resolution that honored it as a national treasure.
During the success of Kind of Blue, Miles Davis found himself involved with the law. On August 25, 1959, during a recording session at the Birdland nightclub in New York City for the US armed services, Miles took a break outside the club. As he was escorting a blonde woman across the sidewalk to a taxi, Miles was told by patrolman Gerald Kilduff to "move on". Miles Davis explained that he was working at the club and refused to move, yet Kilduff proceeded to arrest Davis and grabbed him as Miles tried to protect himself. Witnesses said the patrolman punched Miles Davis in the stomach with his nightstick without provocation. Two detectives held the crowd back, while a third approached Miles Davis from behind and beat him in the head. Miles Davis was arrested and taken to jail where he was charged for assaulting an officer before he was taken to hospital where he received five stitches. Miles Davis was released on a $525 bail. By January 1960, Miles Davis was acquitted of disorderly conduct and third-degree assault. Miles 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 supported 'Kind of Blue' with an extended tour with his sextet. He persuaded Coltrane to play with the group on one final European tour in the spring of 1960. Coltrane then departed to form his classic quartet, although he returned for some of the tracks on Miles Davis' album Someday My Prince Will Come (1961). Its front cover features a photograph of Taylor, after Miles Davis demanded to Columbia that his future album covers depict black women. By 1961, Ebony magazine estimated Miles Davis was earning as much as $150,000 a year. After Coltrane, Miles Davis tried various saxophonists, including Jimmy Heath, Sonny Stitt, and Hank Mobley. The quintet with Hank Mobley was recorded in the studio and on several live engagements at Carnegie Hall and the Black Hawk jazz club in San Francisco. Stitt's playing with the group is found on a recording made in Olympia, Paris and the Live in Stockholm album.
In early 1958, Miles Davis entered a relationship with Frances Taylor, a dancer who he had first met in Los Angeles five years prior, and they married on December 21st 1960. The relationship involved numerous incidents of Miles Davis' domestic violence towards Taylor. Miles later wrote, "Every time I hit her, I felt bad because a lot of it really wasn't her fault but had to do with me being temperamental and jealous". One reason for his behavior was that by early 1963, Miles Davis had increased his abuse of alcohol and cocaine in an attempt to reduce the pain from his hip and joint pain and discomfort caused from his recent diagnosis of sickle cell anemia. He also experienced hallucinations, "looking for this imaginery person" in his home to the point of searching the house wielding a kitchen knife. About a week after the photograph for Miles Davis' album E.S.P. (1965) was taken, Taylor left Miles for the last time. They remained separated until they officially divorced in February 1968.
In December 1962, Miles Davis and his line-up of Kelly, Chambers, Cobb, and Rollins played together for the last time after the first three wished to leave and play as a trio. Rollins left to join them soon after, leaving Miles Davis to pay over $25,000 to cancel upcoming gigs and quickly assemble a new group. Following auditions, he found his new band in tenor saxophonist George Coleman, bassist Ron Carter, pianist Victor Feldman, and drummer Frank Butler, and the five proceeded to record in the studio. By May 1963, Feldman and Butler were replaced by pianist Herbie Hancock and the 17-year-old drummer Tony Williams who made Miles Davis "excited all over again". With this group, Miles Davis completed the rest of what became Seven Steps to Heaven (1963) and recorded the live albums Miles Davis in Europe (1964), My Funny Valentine (1965), and Four & More (1966). The quintet played essentially the same repertoire of bebop tunes and standards that earlier Miles Davis bands had played, but tackled them with increasing structural and rhythmic freedom and, in the case of the up-tempo material, breakneck speed.
In mid-1964, Coleman was replaced by saxophonist Sam Rivers until Miles Davis persuaded Wayne Shorter to end his tenure with Art Blakey and join him, thus becoming what is known as Miles Davis' second "great quintet" which lasted through 1968. Shorter became the group's principal composer and Miles Davis' album E.S.P. (1965) was named after his composition recorded for it. While touring Europe, the group made their first official recording, 'Miles in Berlin' (1965). On returning to the US in late 1964 Miles Davis, at Jackie DeShannon's urging, was instrumental in getting the country-rock band 'The Byrds' signed to Columbia.
By 1965, Miles Davis required medical attention as pain in his hip had worsened since his Japanese tour the previous year. He underwent hip replacement surgery in April 1965 with bone taken from his shin, but it failed. After his third month in hospital, Miles Davis discharged himself and went home due to boredom. He returned to hospital in August however, after he fell in his home causing damage that required a second operation with a plastic hip joint inserted. In November 1965, Miles Davis had recovered enough to return to live performance with his quintet which included gigs at the Plugged Nickel in Chicago which marked the return of Macero as Davis' engineer and producer after their rift over Quiet Nights had healed. Unlike their studio albums, the quintet still played primarily jazz standards and bebop tunes, although some of the titles remain the same as the tunes played by Miles' first quintet, the quick tempos and musical departure from the framework of the tune are dramatic.
In January 1966, Miles Davis returned to hospital with a liver infection which required a three-month break in activity. He recovered and resumed touring, playing more dates in colleges as he had got tired of performing in more typical jazz venues. Columbia president Clive Davis noted that in 1966, his sales had declined to around 40,000–50,000 per album compared to as many as 100,000 per release a few years before. Matters were not helped by the press reporting Miles Davis' apparent financial troubles and imminent demise. After his appearance at the 1966 Newport Jazz Festival, Miles Davis returned to the studio with his quintet in October 1966 which marked the first of a series of productive sessions that lasted until September 1968. During this time, Miles Davis had entered a relationship with actress Cicely Tyson who became a positive influence on his life and mental well-being and helped the trumpeter reduce his alcohol consumption.
Material from the 1966–1968 sessions were released on Miles Smiles (1966), Sorcerer (1967), Nefertiti (1967), Miles in the Sky (1968), and Filles de Kilimanjaro (1968). The quintet's approach to the new music became known as "time no changes", which referred to Miles Davis' choice to depart from chordal sequences and adopt a more open approach with the rhythm section responding to the soloists' melodies. Through Nefertiti the studio recordings consisted primarily of originals composed by Shorter, with occasional compositions by the other sidemen. In 1967, the group began to play their live concerts in continuous sets, each tune flowing into the next, with only the melody indicating any sort of demarcation. Miles Davis' bands would continue to perform in this way until his hiatus in 1975.
'Miles in the Sky' and 'Filles de Kilimanjaro',which tentatively introduced electric bass, electric piano, and electric guitar on some tracks, pointed the way to the subsequent fusion phase of Miles Davis' career. He also began experimenting with more rock-oriented rhythms on these records. By the time the second half of Filles de Kilimanjaro was recorded, bassist Dave Holland and pianist Chick Corea had replaced Carter and Hancock in the working band, though both Carter and Hancock occasionally contributed to future recording sessions. Miles Davis soon began to take over the compositional duties of his sidemen.
In September 1968, Miles Davis married 23-year-old model and songwriter Betty Mabry. The marriage ended in divorce the following year, yet Mabry, a familiar face in the New York City scene and aware of the emerging counterculture audience, helped introduce Miles to popular rock, soul and funk artists and trending fashions of the day. Jazz critic Leonard Feather recalled visiting Miles Davis' apartment during this time and was shocked to see the trumpeter listen to albums by The Byrds, Aretha Franklin, and Dionne Warwick. Miles also took a liking to James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, and Sly and the Family Stone. The musical transition required that Miles Davis adapt to electric instruments in both live performances and in the studio and make music that would appeal to the younger audience.
Miles Davis' first step in his electric period began with 'In a Silent Way' (1969), recorded in a single studio session on February 18th 1969 with Shorter, Hancock, Holland, and Williams alongside keyboardists Chick Corea and Josef Zawinul, and guitarist John McLaughlin. The album features two side long tracks that Macero pieced together from different takes recorded at the session resembling elements of a classical sonata form. Released in July 1969, the album received a divided critical reception among jazz purists who accused Miles Davis of "selling out" to the rock audience. Nevertheless, it reached number 134 on the US Billboard Top LPs chart, Miles Davis's first album since My Funny Valentine to reach the chart. It marked the start of Miles Davis' entry into jazz fusion. Miles' touring band of 1969–1970 of Shorter, Corea, Holland, and DeJohnette never completed a studio recording together and subsequently became known as the "lost quintet". In October 1969, Miles Davis was shot at five times while in his car with one of his two lovers at the time, Marguerite Eskridge. The incident left Davis with a graze and Eskridge unharmed.
For his next album Miles Davis gathered an even larger group of musicians in August 1969, this time with new drummer Jack DeJohnette with Airto Moreira and Bennie Maupin, to record the double album Bitches Brew (1970). The album features extended compositions, some over 20 minutes in length, that, like In a Silent Way, were never played straight through in the studio but rather formed from several takes by Macero and Davis. Bitches Brew made greater use of studio recording techniques including splicing, multitrack recording, and tape loops; the 20-minute "Pharaoh's Dance" contains 19 edits. Upon its release in March 1970, 'Bitches Brew' peaked at number 35 on the Billboard Top LPs chart and, in 1976, reached gold certification by the RIAA in for 500,000 copies sold in the US. In 2003, it had sold one million copies.
In March 1970, Miles Davis began to perform as the opening act for various rock acts, allowing Columbia to market 'Bitches Brew' to a wider audience. He was so offended by Clive Davis's suggestion to perform at the Fillmore East he threatened to switch record labels, yet he reconsidered and shared a bill with the Steve Miller Band and Neil Young in March. Biographer Paul Tingen wrote: "Miles's newcomer status in this environment" led to "mixed audience reactions, often having to play for dramatically reduced fees, and enduring the 'sell-out' accusations from the jazz world", as well as being "attacked by sections of the Black press for supposedly genuflecting to White culture". The 1970 tours included a spot at the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival on August 29th which saw Miles Davis perform to an estimated 350,000 people, the largest of his career. Plans to have Miles Davis record with Jimi Hendrix ended following the guitarist's death soon after; his funeral was the last that Davis attended. Several live albums with a transitional sextet/septet including Corea, DeJohnette, Holland, Moreira, saxophonist Steve Grossman, and keyboardist Keith Jarrett were recorded for Live at the Fillmore East (1970) and Black Beauty (1973).
By 1971, Miles Davis had signed a new contract with Columbia that paid him $100,000 a year for three years including royalties. He had recorded the soundtrack for the 1970 documentary film on heavyweight boxer Jack Johnson, containing two long pieces of 25 and 26 minutes in length that features Hancock, McLaughlin, Sonny Sharrock, and drummer Billy Cobham. During this period, Miles Davis was committed to making music for the young African-American audience drawn to the more commercial, groove-oriented style of popular music of the time; by November 1971, DeJohnette and Moreira had been replaced in the touring ensemble by drummer Leon "Ndugu" Chancler and percussionists James Mtume and Don Alias. The studio and live album Live-Evil (1971) was released in the same month and Miles Davis' ensemble—though retaining the exploratory imperative of Bitches Brew—had transformed into a much more funk-oriented group.
In 1972, composer Paul Buckmaster introduced Miles Davis to the music of German avant-garde composer Karlheinz Stockhausen which led to a period of new creative exploration. Biographer J. K. Chambers wrote, "The effect of Davis' study of Stockhausen could not be repressed for long ...Miles Davis' own 'space music' shows Stockhausen's influence compositionally." His recordings and performances during this period were described as "space music" by fans, Feather, and Buckmaster, who described it as "a lot of mood changes—heavy, dark, intense—definitely space music." These influences were incorporated on the studio album 'On the Corner' (1972), blending Stockhausen and Buckmaster with funk elements which had Miles Davis invite Buckmaster to New York City to oversee the writing and recording. Miles Davis stated that critics incorrectly labelled the album and complained that Colbumia had failed to promote it to the right crowd, instead to jazz traditionalists who could not understand it. In October 1972, Miles Davis broke his ankles in a car crash, for which he took painkillers and cocaine to cope and numb the pain. Looking back at his career after the incident, Miles Davis wrote "everything started to blur".
This was music that polarized audiences, provoking boos and walk-outs amid the ecstasy of others. The length, density, and unforgiving nature of it mocked those who said that Miles was interested only in being trendy and popular. Some have heard in this music the feel and shape of a musician's late work, an egoless music that precedes its creator's death.
After recording 'On the Corner', Miles Davis put together a new group in 1972 with Henderson, Mtume, Carlos Garnett, guitarist Reggie Lucas, organist Lonnie Liston Smith, tabla player Badal Roy, sitarist Khalil Balakrishna, and drummer Al Foster. It was unusual in that only Smith was a major jazz instrumentalist; as a result, the music emphasized rhythmic density and shifting textures instead of individual solos. This group was recorded live for 'In Concert' (1973), but Miles Davis found it unsatisfactory, leading him to drop the tabla and sitar, take over keyboard duties, and added guitarist Pete Cosey. The compilation studio album 'Big Fun' (1974) contains four long improvisations recorded between 1969 and 1972, including 'He Loved Him Madly'", a tribute to Duke Ellington.
Miles Davis' studio activity in the 1970s culminated in sessions throughout 1974 for the compilation album 'Get Up with It' (1974). He then concentrated on live performance with a series of concerts that Columbia released on the double live albums 'Agharta' (1975), 'Pangaea' (1976), and 'Dark Magus' (1977). The first two are recordings of two sets from February 1, 1975 in Osaka, by which time Miles Davis was troubled with pneumonia, osteoarthritis, sickle-cell anemia, depression, bursitis, and stomach ulcers, and relied on alcohol, codeine and morphine to get through the engagements. His shows divided audiences and were routinely panned by critics which cited the trumpeter's tendency to perform with his back to the audience. However, Cosey later asserted that "the band really advanced after the Japanese tour", which involved a trek of the US opening for Hancock, during which Miles Davis was once again hospitalized for his ulcers and a hernia. After his appearance at the 1975 Newport Jazz Festival in July, and the Schaefer Music Festival in New York City on September 5th Miles Davis began a five-year period of inactivity from music.
In his autobiography, Miles Davis openly wrote about his mental state during his break in activity, describing his New York City apartment as a wreck, his heavy drug and alcohol use, and his sexual encounters with many women. In December 1975, he had regained enough strength to undergo a much needed hip replacement operation. In March 1976, Rolling Stone reported rumors of his imminent demise citing his numerous health problems during his previous tour and lifestyle. In December 1976, Miles Davis renewed his recording contract with Columbia for three years, but the label was initially reluctant to pay his usual large advances that they had done with his previous deals. This led to Miles Davis' lawyer to enter negotiations with United Artists Records, causing Columbia to match the offer made by the rival label and complete the deal. They then established the Miles Davis Fund, paying the trumpeter on a regular basis thereafter. Pianist Vladimir Horowitz was the only other Columbia artist that had such a status with the label. Columbia released a series of compilation albums to fulfil contractual obligations, including 'Water Babies' (1976) and 'Circle in the Round' (1979).
In early 1978, Miles Davis moved in with Elena Steinberg in Norwalk, Connecticut after her friend, music reporter Julie Coryell, was granted an interview with the trumpeter and wanted him cared to health. After working on some new music, including a tune co-written by him and guitarist Barry Finnerty, Miles Davis got Coryell's husband, fusion guitarist Larry Coryell, to develop his work which was set for recording on March 2nd 1978 with a line-up formed of Coryell, keyboardists Masabumi Kikuchi and George Pulis, bassist T. M. Stevens, and drummer Al Foster. Miles Davis proceeded to play the arranged piece in an uptempo fashion, abandoned his trumpet for the organ, and had Macero record the session without the band's knowledge. After Coryell declined a spot in a band that Miles Davis was beginning to put together, Miles returned to his reclusive lifestyle in New York City. Not long after, Eskridge had Miles jailed for failing to pay maintenance to their son which cost him $10,000 for release on bail. A further recording session that involved Buckmaster and Gil Evans was shelved, with Evans leaving after not receiving promised compensation. In August 1978, Miles Davis took a step towards a comeback when he hired Mark Rothbaum, who had worked for him since 1972, as his new manager.
By 1979, Miles Davis had rekindled his relationship with actress Cicely Tyson, with whom he overcame his cocaine addiction and regained his enthusiasm for music. The two married on November 26th 1981 in a ceremony held in Bill Cosby's home in Massachusetts and officiated by politician and civil rights activist Andrew Young; the marriage ended in divorce that was finalized in 1989.
In October 1979, Miles Davis' contract with Columbia was up for negotiations. By this time, label president Clive Davis was replaced by George Butler, who had made several visits to Miles Davis' home in the previous two years to encourage him back into the studio to record new material. To help his situation, Miles Davis had Buckmaster come over to collaborate on new music. Upon his arrival at Miles Davis' home, Buckmaster organised an intervention for the trumpeter who by this time was living in squalor among pest and cockroach infestations and darkness, with his curtains constantly closed. His sister Dorothy took charge to clean his home with help from Buckmaster, Tyson, and neighbor Chaka Khan; Miles Davis later thanked Buckmaster in helping him.
Miles Davis had not played trumpet for the better part of three years, and found the process of reclaiming embouchure difficult. His first studio appearance since his hiatus took place on May 1st 1980. A day later, Miles Davis was hospitalised for a month over a leg infection. He then recorded 'The Man with the Horn' (1981) from June 1980 to May 1981, with Macero assuming his role as producer. The album sees Miles Davis playing mostly wah-wah with a younger, larger band. The initial large band was eventually abandoned in favor of a smaller combo featuring saxophonist Bill Evans, not to be confused with pianist Bill Evans, and bass player Marcus Miller, both of whom would be among Miles Davis' most regular collaborators throughout the decade.
'The Man with the Horn' received a poor critical reception despite selling fairly well. In early June 1981, Miles Davis returned to the stage, for the first time since 1975, for a ten-minute guest solo spot as part of Mel Lewis' band and orchestra at the Village Vanguard, New York City. This was followed by appearances with a new band, including a four-night run at Kik in Boston, followed by two shows at Avery Fisher Hall as part of the Kool Jazz Festival. Recordings from a mixture of dates from 1981, including the Kix and Avery Fisher Hall gigs, were released on 'We Want Miles' (1982), which earned Miles Davis 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 from a stroke which temporarily paralysed his right hand. Tyson returned home and cared for him; after three months of treatment with a Chinese acupuncturist Miles was able to play his trumpet, after which he took his doctor's warnings on board and began a lifestyle free of alcohol and drugs. He credits Tyson in his recovery which involved regular exercise, piano playing, and visits to spas, yet he lost weight and got a weave to cover his thinning scalp. Tyson also encouraged Miles Davis to pursue drawing which the trumpeter took a particular liking to and worked on art for the rest of his life.
Miles Davis resumed touring in May 1982 with a line-up that included French percussionist Mino Cinelu and guitarist John Scofield, with whom he worked closely on his studio album 'Star People' (1983). In mid-1983, while working on the tracks for 'Decoy', an album mixing soul music and electronica that was released in 1984, Miles Davis brought in producer, composer and keyboardist Robert Irving III, who had earlier collaborated with him on 'The Man with the Horn'. With a seven-piece band, including Scofield, Evans, keyboardist and music director Irving, drummer Al Foster and bassist Darryl Jones, Miles Davis played a series of European gigs to positive receptions. In December 1984, during his stay in Denmark, Miles Davis was awarded the Léonie Sonning Music Prize. During the event, Danish trumpeter Palle Mikkelborg had written a contemporary classical piece titled "Aura" for the event which impressed Miles to the point of returning to Denmark in early 1985 to record his next studio album, 'Aura' (1989). However, Columbia was dissatisfied with the recording and delayed its release for four years.
In May 1985, one month into a tour, Miles Davis signed a new recording deal with Warner Bros. Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis publicly dismissed Miles Davis' more recent fusion recordings as not being "'true' jazz", comments Miles initially shrugged off, calling Marsalis "a nice young man, only confused." This changed after Marsalis appeared, unannounced, onstage in the midst of Miles Davis' performance at the inaugural Vancouver International Jazz Festival in 1986. Marsalis whispered into Miles Davis' ear that "someone" had told him to do so. Miles responded by ordering him off the stage. Miles had become increasingly irritated at Columbia's delay releasing 'Aura'. The breaking point in the label-artist relationship appears to have come when a Columbia jazz producer requested Miles Davis place a goodwill birthday call to Marsalis. The 1985 tour included a performance in London in July that saw Miles Davis on stage for five hours. Jazz critic John Fordham concluded: "The leader is clearly enjoying himself". By 1985, Miles Davis was a diabetic and required daily insulin injections.
Miles Davis released his final album for Columbia, 'You're Under Arrest', in September 1985. It included another brief stylistic detour, this time with his interpretations of Cyndi Lauper's ballad "Time After Time", and Michael Jackson's pop hit "Human Nature". Miles Davis considered releasing an entire album of pop songs and recorded dozens of them, but the idea was scrapped. Miles noted that many of today's accepted jazz standards were in fact pop songs from Broadway theater, and that he was simply updating the "standards" repertoire with new material. 1985 also saw Miles Davis guest-star on the TV show Miami Vice as pimp and minor criminal Ivory Jones in the episode titled "Junk Love".
Miles Davis collaborated with a number of figures from the British post-punk and new wave movements during this period, including Scritti Politti. At the invitation of producer Bill Laswell, he recorded some trumpet parts during sessions for Public Image Ltd.'s Album, according to Public Image's John Lydon in the liner notes of their Plastic Box box set.
After taking part in the recording of the 1985 protest song "Sun City" as a member of Artists United Against Apartheid, Miles Davis was featured on the instrumental "Don't Stop Me Now" by Toto for their album Fahrenheit (1986). For his next studio album, Miles Davis intended to record as a collaboration with pop artist Prince, but the project was soon shelved. Instead, Miles chose to work with multi-instrumentalist Marcus Miller. The resulting album, Tutu (1986), was Miles Davis' first to use modern studio tools including programmed synthesizers, sampling and drum loops, to create an entirely new setting for his music. Released in September 1986, its front cover features a striking portrait of Miles by Irving Penn. The album was described as the modern counterpart of 'Sketches of Spain' and, in 1987, won Miles Davis his second of three Grammy Awards for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Soloist.
In 1988, Miles Davis had a small part as a street musician in the Christmas comedy film Scrooged, starring Bill Murray. In November 1988, he was inducted into the Knights of Malta at a ceremony at the Alhambra Palace in Spain. 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. Rumors of Miles Davis' health were made public after the American tabloid magazine Star, in its February 21st 1989 edition, published that Miles Davis had contracted AIDS, prompting Miles's' manager Peter Shukat to issue a statement the following day to deny the claim. Shukat revealed Miles Davis had been in hospital for a mild case of pneumonia and the removal of a benign polyp on his vocal cords, yet 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. In October 1989, Miles Davis received a Grande Medaille de Vermeil from Paris mayor Jacques Chirac. In 1990, Miles Davis received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
In early 1991, he appeared in the Rolf de Heer film Dingo as a jazz musician. In the film's opening sequence, Miles Davis and his band unexpectedly land on a remote airstrip in the Australian outback and proceed to perform for the surprised locals.
Miles Davis followed Tutu with 'Amandla', another collaboration with Miller and George Duke plus the soundtracks to four films—Street Smart, Siesta, The Hot Spot (with bluesman John Lee Hooker), and Dingo. He continued to tour in the late 1980s with a band of constantly rotating personnel. Miles Davis' last albums, both released posthumously, were the hip hop-influenced studio album 'Doo-Bop' (1992) and 'Miles & Quincy Live at Montreux' (1993), a collaboration with Quincy Jones for the 1991 Montreux Jazz Festival where, for the first time in three decades, Miles Davis performed songs from Miles Ahead, Porgy and Bess and Sketches of Spain. Some listeners and critics who had been disappointed with his experimental late period were happy that his career ended in such a way. pic of Miles Davis
On July 8th 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. The set consisted of select arrangements from his albums recorded with Gil Evans. The show was followed by a concert billed as Miles and Friends at the Grande halle de la Villette in Paris held two days later, featuring guest performances by artists he had worked with across his career, including John McLaughlin, Herbie Hancock and Josef Zawinul. During his stay in Paris, Miles Davis was awarded the Chevalier of the Legion of Honour. Such retrospective concerts that Miles Davis agreed to do in a short space of time led to the argument that the trumpeter knew he was dying, yet his road manager Gordon Meltzer believed Miles Davis was unaware. A week after Paris, Miles Davis and his group performed at the Nice Jazz Festival, followed by a show in London on July 19th. Upon his return to the US, he stopped off in New York City to record material on his next album, 'Doo-Bop', and returned to California where he played at the Hollywood Bowl on August 25th, his final live performance.

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music: 'So What' by Miles Davis.