We jump back to October 11, 1991, just days after Miles Davis had died, with a terrific commentary in Entertainment Weekly by Greg Sandow.
Death of the Cool
‘Remembering Miles Davis — For four decades he remade jazz in his own ever-changing image’
Miles Davis, not to put too fine a point on it, was a mother. When he died last week, 65 years old and long ailing, there was nobody, absolutely nobody, who wouldn’t have called him a giant of jazz, a titan of the trumpet, a founder of contemporary American music, or many other boilerplate articles of praise — all ringing true as the extraordinary notes he conjured out of his horn for 46 years.
As a jazz trumpet player, Davis was as great as they come. Beyond that, he was an innovator, instrumental in nearly every important jazz idiom between the ”cool” style of the late ’40s and the jazz-rock fusion of the late ’60s and ’70s. He was an unparalleled bandleader, able to inspire his ensembles to heights of group improvisation. And finally, as a mentor to younger musicians he had no peer, giving an important boost over the years to well, pick a name. John Coltrane, one of the few giants who might be called Davis’ equal? Herbie Hancock, sometime pop star and a leading jazz light of the generations after Davis? Wayne Shorter? John McLaughlin? Chick Corea? All of them got key early exposure and experience in Miles Davis’ bands.