Miles Davis Featured In ‘Style of Music’ Poster Series

It’s already cool enough that EveryGuyed is presenting ‘Ensemble: The Style of Music,’ a series of posters featuring ionic outfits from 20 male musicians. Designed by Glenn Michael of Moxy Creative House, and illustrated by James Alexander, the prints are available here.

But even cooler, one of the 20 iconic musicians is – hello! – Miles Davis.

The text on the poster reads:

George Frazier of Esquire Magazine once wrote of jazz pioneer Miles Davis, “thank God for the existence of people like Miles Davis: Except, of course, that there are no people like Miles Davis. He is an original. He is a truly well-dressed man.”

As a stylistic innovator in Jazz, his ever changing styles in music were consistent with his wardrobe. Whether playing it conservative in a Brooks Brothers suit or exuding European refinement with slim cut French silhouettes, Davis always gave his distinct spin, playing up a sophistication in tune with his own signature funk.

By the 70’s both his music and style had reached an eclectic avant-garde edge. Like a true artist, Davis always strived for innovation, evolution, and relevance in everything he did.

All of the individual prints are excellent; Hendrix, Jim Morrison and Marvin Gaye are also favorites of mine. Of course, the poster that features all 20 stylish musicians is terrific.

But the Miles Davis. Wow.

Great work! Moxy Creative House’s Eyewear Made Famous series is also worth checking out.

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The Blutch Drawings of Miles Davis

I know very little (see: nothing) about talented cartoonist, illustrator and scriptwriter Christian Hincker, who uses the pseudonym Blutch.

From a quick web search I did learn that Blutch studied art in Strasbourg, where he was born, made his comic debut in the magazine Fluide Glacial in 1988 with ‘Pecos Jim’ and several short stories and then published the series ‘Johnny Staccato’ and ‘Mademoiselle Sunnymoon’.

A true talent in the black-and-white genre, Blutch created his first color album, ‘Vitesse Moderne’, in the Aire Libre collection of Dupuis in 2002. Around 2005 he changed his graphic style for his illustration work, and started signing with Blutch Hincker. He also produced the animation film ‘Peur(s) du noir’ in 2008.

I now know that Christian Hincker/Blutch has created a lot of amazing work, but his pen and ink drawings of Miles Davis are downright awesome!

The artwork can be found in Blutch’s Total Jazz – histoires musicales (2004) from publisher Le Seuil; short stories and anecdotes about jazz that have appeared in the French magazine Jazzman.

“Blutch visits the jazz classics (Wayne Shorter, Miles Davis, Sun Ra, Stan Getz …) but also more anonymous stories. The book ends with two longer stories, ‘Viva Italia’ and ‘to the SAR NIF jazz’, which closes this series of boards for the magazine. “Total Jazz is also an opportunity to visit different styles of Blutch – penciled restless, bold or fine and clean bold lines.”

Miles Davis and the French Comic Book

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The late great Mike Zwerin tells us about Miles Davis and the French comic book:

“The French love American art forms that America has ignored — jazz and comic books of the 1950s and 1960s, for example. Robert Crumb and Miles Davis were stars in France long before America.

The French record company Nocturne has been publishing a series of hard-cover comic books drawn by artists such as Louis Joos and Jacques Ferrandez on just about every significant jazzman since Louis Armstrong, each with two CDs inserted in the covers.

“Miles Davis, Volume 2” and “Charles Mingus” are the most recent.

Davis got slugged on the head by a policeman for no other reason than that he was black and uppity and occupying the Broadway sidewalk in front of Birdland. Mingus could no longer tolerate rich white people not paying taxes, and he did not hesitate to speak his mind.

Continue reading “Miles Davis and the French Comic Book”

The Miles Davis Movie – In Four Frames

I really like this blog — Movies In Frames. It’s basically a presentation of various films chiseled down into four frames. There are loads of great examples, covering a wide variety of movies.

The three versions for “Alien” are quite good. I also like Every Which Way But Loose and the trio created for Memento.

Now, there is no film about Miles Davis in existence at the moment, but that doesn’t mean we cannot join in with the Movies In Frames fun; there are no frames to select, but let’s focus on images and moments from Davis’ life and musical career that might appear in a biopic about Miles.

Let’s say it’s a biopic that follows the narrative of a “Ray,” which is more or less a cradle-to-grave type of biopic (even though we know full well Don Cheadle is not planning to make that type of movie).

It’s all a big, subjective game. Fun!

My four scenes would be something from Miles’ early days playing clubs in New York City (maybe with Bird), a shot with Gil Evans, something having to do with Kind of Blue and then something with his electric period.

Right there I’ve already left out ‘Birth of the Cool,’ the 2nd Great Quintet and anything post-fusion leading up to his passing.

Not easy. Well, there’s no movie to help, so maybe whenever the biopic gets released I will revisit this exercise!

The Miles Davis Movie – In Four Frames

I really like this blog — Movies In Frames. It’s basically a presentation of various films chiseled down into four frames. There are loads of great examples, covering a wide variety of movies.

The three versions for “Alien” are quite good. I also like Every Which Way But Loose and the trio created for Memento.

Now, there is no film about Miles Davis in existence at the moment, but that doesn’t mean we cannot join in with the Movies In Frames fun; there are no frames to select, but let’s focus on images and moments from Davis’ life and musical career that might appear in a biopic about Miles.

Let’s say it’s a biopic that follows the narrative of a “Ray,” which is more or less a cradle-to-grave type of biopic (even though we know full well Don Cheadle is not planning to make that type of movie).

It’s all a big, subjective game. Fun!

My four scenes would be something from Miles’ early days playing clubs in New York City (maybe with Bird), a shot with Gil Evans, something having to do with Kind of Blue and then something with his electric period.

Right there I’ve already left out ‘Birth of the Cool,’ the 2nd Great Quintet and anything post-fusion leading up to his passing.

Not easy. Well, there’s no movie to help, so maybe whenever the biopic gets released I will revisit this exercise!

Google Honors Dizzy Gillespie with Doodle

Iconic jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie would have been 93 today, so Google has dedicated Thursday’s doodle to the famed musician.

I’m a devoted fan of Dizzy Gillespie, so this is a terrific, artistic honor by Google.

But where is the Miles Davis doodle? C’mon!

* The Miles Davis Movie: Who Is Going To Play Dizzy Gillespie?

Miles Davis Quintet – Agitation

Miles Davis / The Album Covers


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

Miles Davis / In Pictures

A Street Corner Named Miles Davis: Former Neighbor Wants To Name NYC Corner After The Jazz Legend

The street address ‘312 West 77th Street’ in New York City’s Upper West Side was home to Miles Davis for about 25 years. Now a former neighbor wants to name a nearby corner after the jazz icon.

And to that we say ‘huzzah!’ What a grand idea.

Writing at DNAinfo.com, Leslie Albrecht has the story on Shirley Zafirau, who’s lived on West 77th Street since 1963 and is leading the charge to honor Davis.

“He was a nice neighbor,” said Zafirau. “He was a very complex personality. He wanted this bad, tough image out there, maybe to keep people away, but he was a wonderful neighbor.”

Zafirau wants people to know that Davis spent many years on the block, a time she recalls fondly. She said Davis would sit on a stone wall in front of his house and ask her, “Hey, how’s it going?” in his distinctive growl. In the summer, Davis and musician friends would jam outside, Zafirau said.

Albrecht points out that Davis lived at the 312 West 77th Street address for about 25 years starting in 1958.

She also catches up with Ashley Khan (author of “Kind of Blue: The Making of the Miles Davis Masterpiece”), who told her that, “Miles was always very sensitive to racial and social issues.”

“That (incident) for him was very telling, and it was very telling of the time,” Kahn added. “Even in a place as progressive as New York he was breaking a color barrier by purchasing a brownstone on the Upper West Side.”

The article tells us that Zafirau submitted her request to Community Board 7’s transportation committee this week. Looks like she’ll need the support of the current owners of 312 West 77th Street, then present the idea at Community Board 7’s full board meeting on Nov. 3.

Let’s just go ahead and send over a complementary box of Miles Davis CDs to the current owners.

While it might seem like a small bit of community legislation to bless and move on, the street corner project is no slam dunk. Albrecht writes that plans to name streets after famous people ‘sometimes get a cool reception;’ the board voted against a bid to rename Central Park West and West 72nd Street after John Lennon last year.

It seems neighbors complained it could turn their street into a tourist circus. Sure, I might want a few photos next to a Miles Davis street corner, but I promise to be quiet about it.

This a terrific idea by Shirley Zafirau, and I hope the Community Board 7 will see it the same way.

Click HERE to read the complete story about 312 West 77th Street and Miles Davis.

Five Eras In Miles Davis’ Career Featured In Monthlong Musical Tribute

We’ve missed the first two shows, but three more to go on the Five Weeks For Miles schedule, award-winning trumpet player Brownman Ali’s 5-week, monthlong tribute to Miles Davis at Toronto’s Trane Studio.

During the five Fridays in October, Brownman leads five different all-star ensembles covering five musical eras of Miles Davis’ legendary career.

Week one spotlighted “Young Miles” – The Bird Years, followed a week later by “Birth Of The Cool & Kind Of Blue” – Post-Bop Miles.

This Friday (Oct. 15), we get “Plugged Nickel” – The Shorter Years, which leads us into the final two shows: “From Bitches Brew to Tutu” – Electric Miles and “Doo-bop” – Had He Lived…

The Five Weeks For Miles series is in it’s 5th year now and is one of the most popular jazz events in the city.

Wow. When does the next flight leave for Toronto?

“For those who appreciate jazz as a true art form, Five Weeks For Miles represents a rare opportunity to understand it’s greatest legend’s career, where he could have gone and a reminder of what he might have meant to us today,” says Bowman of the five-gig/five-week tribute. “I’m truly honored to be fronting this sequential tribute and performing with such a monstrous cross-section of players.”

It really looks like an amazing series of shows, and a special treat for Miles Davis fans and just fans of jazz music in general.

Five Fridays. Five Quintets. Five jazz eras. That’s what I’m talking about….

For full event info please visit http://miles.brownman.com. You can also visit the Facebook event page.

Miles Davis Biopic Adds Kevin Navayne To Cast

I was under the impression there had not been any casting for the Miles Davis Biopic, aside from Don Cheadle playing the lead role.

After a random search for anything new on the project, I discovered that relative newcomer Kevin Navayne is listed as the actor who will play Marcus Miller, the bassist/producer who worked with Miles from 1985 until the jazz legend’s death in 1991.

That Marcus Miller is being portrayed in the film tells us the latter part of Miles’ life/career is in play for the film’s narrative, which Cheadle has said numerous times will not follow the Hollywood blueprint (like “Ray”), but rather something a bit more avant-garde.

It seems random to already have an actor on board to play Marcus Miller, certainly an important figure in the final chapter of Davis’ life, but it could be that ‘late ’80s Miles’ is going to be a key element to the overall story; maybe they’ve set up the biopic to be a series of flashbacks to famous/important moments in the trumpeter’s life-career.

Or not.

Miles Davis / The Album Covers



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

The Genius of Miles Davis Gets A Price Cut, Still Expensive No Matter How Awesome

The Genius of Miles Davis is big, bold and jazz nirvana for Miles Davis fans; 43 discs scattered across eight box sets packaged in an individually-numbered, full-size trumpet case.

It’s also expensive. Well, slightly less expensive now that Sony/Legacy has reduced the price from $1199.00 to $749.00.

It seems the folks at Legacy Recordings were getting feedback from Miles Davis fans about the pricing for the monstrous box set. Not sure how many comments they fielded about the expensive, 21-pound trumpet case that houses all the discs and assorted MD goodies, but something made the company put the scissors to the price tag.

But is $749.00 still too high? Or is that what you should expect to pay for such a lavish collection of music? No one expects to get their hands on such an impressive box set for 200 bucks, but you’d have to think that, aside from those who are wealthy and dropping 800 dollars on a box set is no big deal, acquiring The Genius of Miles Davis is simply too much of an investment for either the ‘average’ Miles Davis fan, or hardcore aficionado.

It’s a magnificent beast of a box set, but even for this super fan it might just have to be something I admire from afar — unless a friend gets one, and I will totally borrow the hell out of it!

Iggy Pop, Paul Weller And Other Musicians Discuss Their Favorite Miles Davis Albums

The Quietus presents a nice collection of artists discussing their favorite Miles Davis albums.

Composer Ennio Morricone has this to say: “I love Miles Davis. I couldn’t decide on one favourite album of his but he is what I would call a genius.”

Check out the feature to read what Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, Paul Weller and a host of other musicians have to say about their favorite albums by Miles Davis. Live Evil gets two mentions which might surprise a few people.