Culture / Media

Miles Davis, Still Legendary After All These Years

milesdavis1956 John Bungey of Times Online poses a good question for discussion: Why is Miles Davis so legendary?


…why, 18 years on, does the world still care? Miles’s celebrated urge to keep moving — to play music that was one minute beguiling, the next baffling (“It’s my curse”) is one reason. There are albums, such as the once-reviled On the Corner, from 1972, that fans have only slowly learnt to love. But music aside, Miles remains an eminently marketable star: the strings of wives and girlfriends, the Ferraris, the rage, the battle against drugs … even the depression and illnesses add to his brooding charisma. His cultivated anti-star persona — now copied by every shoe-gazing rocker — and the obfuscation in press interviews about his childhood in St Louis long added to the mystique. Today’s jazz names — from Diana Krall to Pat Metheny — look a meek lot by comparison. And even if you don’t like the music, Miles makes a cool T-shirt.

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