Miles Davis / The Album Covers

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* sessions, commercial releases, singles, reissues, compilations, live recordings…
** mostly just album covers i think look really cool…

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The Night Miles Davis Opened For Neil Young

Forty years ago this month, Neil Young and Miles Davis shared a bill at a theater in New York City.

Nate Chinen looks at two stars whose orbits passed tantalizingly close.

Click here to read the essay!

Miles Davis / The Album Covers

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* sessions, commercial releases, singles, reissues, compilations, live recordings…
** mostly just album covers i think look really cool…

Jim Marshall, Photographer, Dies at 74

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Jim Marshall, the photographer who captured some of rock & roll’s most unforgettable images including photos of Jimi Hendrix burning his guitar at Monterey Pop and Johnny Cash flipping the bird at San Quentin, died in his sleep last night in New York. He was 74. (link)

Jim Marshall’s Miles Davis Collection: a must see!

Photo: Miles Davis, New York, NY 1963‚ © Jim Marshall, 1963

Miles Davis And Steve McQueen

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Today is Steve McQueen’s birthday. He’d be 80! The occasion allows me a perfect opportunity to post an awesome photo of Miles Davis and Steve McQueen – backstage at the Monterey Jazz festival, 1963.

A cooler twosome you shall not find.

Photo: Miles & Steve 1963, © Jim Marshall

Miles Davis And The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

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On the occasion that Genesis, Iggy Pop, The Hollies, ABBA and Jimmy Cliff were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last Monday, let’s look back to 2006 when jazz legend Miles Davis was honored posthumously with induction to the hall of fame of rock and roll.

Miles was inducted by Herbie Hancock.

The 21st annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions were held March 13 at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York. Black Sabbath, the Sex Pistols, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Blondie, Miles Davis and record moguls Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss were inducted into the hall.

Davis’ bio page is quite nice, by the way.

In announcing its 2006 inductees, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame said, “Miles Davis was one of the 20th Century’s most creative artists changing the sound of popular music many times in his six decade career.”

A Jazz Legend Enshrined as a Rock Star?
By Ben Rtliff

Miles Davis, Romantic Hero
Assessing the trumpeter’s legacy as he enters the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
By Stanley Crouch

Miles Davis: Live in Berlin, 1969

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Part V

* Nov. 7, 1969

Directions (Zawinul)
Bitches Brew (Davis)
It’s About That Time (Davis)
I Fall In Love Too Easily (S. Cahn- J. Styne)
Sanctuary (W. Shorter- Davis)
The Theme (Davis)

The Miles Davis Online Artist Series / A Quick Retrospective

There have been seven installments of the Miles Davis Online Artist Series thus far – each of them a real pleasure for me to be a part of. There is so much amazing art to be discovered that is either based on, or inspired by, Mr. Miles Davis. During the past year, I have enjoyed discovering so many wonderful types of artwork centered around the jazz icon; sketches, paintings, illustrations, drawings, photographs, digital illustrations and sculptures. And there is still plenty more to see.

I want to send a very special thanks to the artists for taking the time to speak with me about their work – and for allowing me to display the artwork on MDO. And also a quick nod to all those search engines out there for helping me discover so much great (Miles Davis) artwork in my journeys through cyberspace.

In case you missed any of the first seven, here are links to the interviews and their outstanding work. I’m already looking forward to unveiling the next seven!

Tobias Dahmm
Julien Trédan-Turini
Tom Buch
Jamie Parslow
Jeremy Powell
David N. Goldberg
Yuriy Shevchuk

SXSW Panel Recap: Miles Davis – Bitches Brew 40th Anniversary Tribute

“If there was one event on the modern jazz timeline that’s most divisive, it would be the coming of jazz-rock fusion at the close of the Sixties,” began veteran music journalist Ashley Kahn. LINK

The Miles Davis Movie: Don Cheadle Gets Involved – In 2007!

miles_davis88 I think it’s interesting to see various newspapers and websites commenting on the ‘news’ that Don Cheadle is going to play Miles Davis in a biopic of the jazz legend.

Obviously they are not reading my work(!).

It’s no big deal to be delayed in reporting/commenting on an entertainment story, but I kicked-off the Biopic Blog back in March 2007 when I posted a Variety item about Don Cheadle announcing five, film projects that he would be producing and starring in – one of them was, of course, a biopic of jazz legend Miles Davis.

Even the news of Herbie Hancock scoring the film is old news; the YRB magazine interview that mentions Hancock’s involvement is from November 2009, which I wrote about here.

Clearly the lesson from all this is that I need to work on my SEO skills!

But hey, in the end, any media chatter about Miles Davis and the forthcoming-but-don’t-get-too-excited-because-it’ll-be-awhile Miles Davis Biopic is always a good thing.

Miles Davis / In Pictures

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Miles (w/ Betty Mabry Davis to his left) at the funeral of Jimi Hendrix
Photo © Life

Miles Davis Search Update or; Why Miles Davis Online Is Really The Only Place For All Things Miles Davis

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We here at Miles Davis Online like to think of ourselves as the Official Miles Davis Website, even if it’s unofficial. And unofficial only because Miles Davis Properties owns the choice domain milesdavis.com; I am sure you’ve seen it considering it comes up atop a Google search for Miles Davis. I won’t get into the numerous flaws that have kept the site from becoming a dynamic hub for everything Miles Davis, but needless to say it’s not great.

In a search for Miles Davis you might have also noticed a second ‘official’ website – miles-davis.com; this one via Sony Legacy, who possess numerous Miles Davis albums in their catalog. This ‘official’ website is far better than the one from Miles Davis Properties, but still nowhere near the excellence achieved by the likes of elvis.com and sinatra.com — two, stunning examples of Official Website greatness.

So… this evening when I popped over to official website #1 (milesdavis.com), guess what happened? It re-directed me to official website #2 (miles-davis.com). Okay, it’s not like discovering five, undiscovered tracks from the Kind of Blue sessions, but this is interesting news, to me at least – Mr. Unofficial/Official Miles Davis Website.

Without knowing a single thing about the business side of things at Miles Davis Properties, or Sony Legacy, where it relates to the business of Miles Davis, I have a feeling the estate shelved any plans for producing their own content for their Miles Davis website and decided to make life easier by allowing the gang at Sony Legacy to handle any web business; whatever news and updates from the estate can just go directly to miles-davis.com (still listed as an ‘official’ website) and that’s that. But I could be totally wrong.

The whole thing saddens me because whether it’s one, two or 27 Official Miles Davis websites, right this second not one is outstanding. And I firmly believe that any ‘official’ website for Miles Davis should be an outstanding and enjoyable place to discover and experience every possible aspect of Miles Davis.

“…an outstanding and enjoyable place to discover and experience every possible aspect of Miles Davis.”

That pretty much sums up the reason why I started Miles Davis Online, and why I am so excited for the future of this blog/website.

What I lack in access to the vaults of priceless photos, music and memorabilia, I more than make up for with passion and energy, a happy desire to curate a daily conversation about Miles Davis and appreciation of a remarkable career. Like I said when I started this project, more than anything I want Miles Davis Online to be entertaining, interesting and function as a central hub for fans of Miles Davis.

We’re coming up on one year, and so far it has been an absolute delight producing this blog. The best is yet to come…

Miles Davis Online might not be the ‘Official’ Miles Davis website, but it sure as hell is going to be the ‘Best.’

Miles Davis / In Pictures

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Boris Vian and Miles Davis: Boris Vian was a French writer, poet, musician, singer, translator, critic, actor, inventor and engineer. He is best remembered for novels such as L’Écume des jours and L’Arrache-cœur (translated into English as ‘Froth on the Daydream’ and ‘Heartsnatcher,’ respectively). He is also known for highly controversial “criminal” fiction released under the pseudonym Vernon Sullivan and some of his songs (particularly the anti-war Le Déserteur). Vian was also fascinated with jazz: he served as liaison for, among others, Duke Ellington and Miles Davis in Paris, wrote for several French jazz-reviews (Le Jazz Hot, Paris Jazz) and published numerous articles dealing with jazz both in the United States and in France.

The Miles Davis Movie: Filming The Steve Allen Show Appearance

I was still a ways off from making my appearance on the planet, but I can only imagine how exciting it must have been in ’64 to watch Miles Davis and Co. perform on The Steve Allen Show. I could be lost in a haze of nostalgia for a bygone era, (I’ve been watching a lot of Mad Men lately so that might have something to do with it), but I’ve watched this clip (below) ten times, and I just think it’s, for lack of a more resounding adjective, cool.

Burt Lancaster is there too! Even more cool.

I’m not sure if this TV appearance is a significant moment on the list of significant moments for Miles Davis, but if someone does know whether or not this performance of “All Blues” is regarded as a major, or even minor event – besides the fact that it’s just very entertaining and thrilling for fans – please drop me a line.

Was it uncommon in ’64 to feature a jazz act on a variety/talk such as The Steve Allen Show? Or is having Miles Davis considered a coup for any show during that time period? I did some cursory research about the show (this particular incarnation of his popular talk show aired between ’62-’64), and it looks like a variety of musical guests were featured – The Beach Boys, Cab Calloway, Dizzy Gillespie, Frank Zappa and Nina Simone to name a few.

So, obviously jazz musicians were welcomed to appear on TV talk/variety shows. Unlike today.

Just reading a little about Allen on Wikipedia it’s clear he was a big jazz aficionado – “the show featured plenty of jazz played by Allen and members of the show’s band, the Donn Trenner Orchestra.”

Allen also produced a second half-hour show, titled Jazz Scene, which featured West Coast jazz musicians.

Regarding the Miles Davis Biopic, I guess if you were to write up a list of 50 events/moments that should be included in the story of Miles Davis, perhaps The Steve Allen Show appearance doesn’t rate. Then again, I’m not sure without some hard evidence that it wasn’t a big deal.

Still, maybe a snippet – with Allen and Burt Lancaster(!) introducing Davis – might speak to the era, especially if the film is combining moments from the early sixties to reflect where Miles Davis stood musically and personally. Maybe there’s a scene, and in the background we see Davis performing on The Steve Allen Show.

I don’t know. I just like watching the clip. My thanks to the person who posted it.

The Miles Davis Movie: Herbie Hancock To Score Miles Davis Biopic

herbie20hancock It’s old news that we posted back in November, but since it’s suddenly a hot topic, let’s have fun and re-post:

We noted awhile back about an interview that Erin Davis (Miles’ son) and Vince Wilburn Jr. (Miles’ nephew) did with YRB Magazine; Wilburn Jr. said that a new writer, Steven Baigelman, is collaborating with Don Cheadle on an updated draft of the script.

Big news for followers (me) of the Miles Davis Biopic.

But in the very same interview, Wilburn Jr. also points out that Herbie Hancock is planning to score the movie. Wow. That’s kind of big news, in my opinion.

Here’s Wilburn Jr.’s exact quote: Yeah, Herbie Hancock’s going to score it and Don Cheadle’s directing and starring.

We’ve long known about Cheadle, but Hancock definitely adds some spice to the project.

(This post also appears on The Miles Davis Movie)