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Miles Davis Brand Gets Boost With New Products

Goldmine magazine is featuring an article about the latest Miles Davis-related products. Writer Chris M. Junior catches up with Vince Wilburn Jr., a Davis nephew, and Erin Davis, son of the late jazz icon, who both oversee Miles Davis Properties with Cheryl Davis, daughter of Miles.

Who we do not see mentioned is Darryl Porter, who was (and still might be) carrying the title of General Manager of Miles Davis Properties. His absence from the article could mean there has been a management shake-up inside the Estate.

It’s worth a read to get caught up with what the Davis team has coming down the road, but Wilburn’s quote that the business team turns down, “95 percent of the things that come to us,” is interesting.

When you look at the Miles Davis tribute headphones from Monster Cable Products and the Bitches Brew ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery – both products I think are perfectly fine, by the way -, one must wonder what deals didn’t make the cut. I’m sure all sorts of business ventures come knocking to try and slice off a piece of the Miles Davis brand to help sell a product, but I wonder how many BMW/Nike/Microsoft/etc… types are interested in utilizing the personal style and musical legacy of Miles Davis. Cool sells. Timeless cool is even better. So Miles Davis fits the bill quite nicely for that type of pitch.

The update on the business of Miles is basically the Bitches Brew: Legacy Edition, a mammoth Genius of Miles Davis box-set due in September, the possibility of taking the We Want Miles exhibit, currently on display through Aug. 29 at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, on the road to locales like New York, Brazil and Japan and maybe a tour featuring various rhythm sections from Davis’ career.

Oh yeah – and the Miles Davis Biopic. The article informs us that by the end of the summer, the Estate expects to see a draft of the script. And apparently Cheadle continues his trumpet lessons to prepare for the lead role. “A couple of years ago, Cheadle had moved really fast to a fifth-grade level as a trumpet player,” Erin Davis says. “He’s probably well into the college level by now.”

Nothing on the digital media side; no iPad or iPhone Apps. I also didn’t see anything about releasing rare tracks presently tucked away in the Miles Davis vaults. The Estate did recently shift their woeful official website over to the friendly confines of Sony, which unveiled a much better website design worthy of the jazz legend, but website-related projects were not mentioned along with upcoming endeavors.

I think it’s on the ‘net where a brand as great as ‘Miles Davis’ can really venture into some exciting directions. And with the biopic one day arriving, the web will be integral in the marketing strategy.

Photo by Jim Marshall

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