Here’s an excellent read by Marc Hopkins from an October 2006 article in JazzTimes.
Entitled Miles Davis: Selling the Dark Prince, Hopkins looks at what was then the start of a big media push by the Miles Davis estate to take the Miles Davis brand to the next level. It’s three years later, and after reading the article it’s interesting to step back, look around and see where the group that makes up Miles Davis Properties LLC has taken the iconic brand thus far.
Have they done enough? Have they done too much? What are the digital media plans? Where is the music from the vaults? What about the biopic?
There are plenty of good questions to consider when discussing the business of Miles Davis.
For me, here’s the key passage from Hopkins: As a brand, Miles Davis is probably the next great untapped resource, whose potential to penetrate the market for economic gain and celebrity capital has yet to be realized.
I could not have typed the words any better.
The business of Miles Davis is a subject I’m very interested in, obviously. I could easily reel off a few thousand words (and then a few thousand more) about my thoughts on where the brand is and where it should be going. But for now I’m happy to spread the good gospel. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t trying to do my part, in my own little way, to push the legacy into the digital age, tying nostalgia with new media so everyone can enjoy and experience Miles Davis.
Anyway, Hopkin’s article is terrific, and even a few years after the fact, the topics brought up regarding the Miles Davis brand and the Miles Davis business are absolutely just as relevant and important today – if not more so. Oh, I feel a roundtable discussion coming on!
…Say the name Miles Davis and it conjures images of the most poignant figure in jazz—ever. He changed the direction of jazz multiple times, and he was always at the precipice of the next groove of his own musical frontier. From bebop to hip-hop, from Coltrane to Prince, Davis effortlessly and seamlessly melded his distinctly delicate sound through straightahead, fusion, funk and beyond. He’s been studied and copied and debated. He’s a hero and a villain, an artist’s artist who always wanted the music to move forward.
Whether you know this about Miles Davis or just learned it, the people in charge of his legacy are working to make sure you never forget it…
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Miles Davis: Selling the Dark Prince / By Marc Hopkins