Culture / news / style

I Think We Could All Use “a bit more Miles Davis”

Interesting business story on BusinessJournalism.org about Miles Davis and the effectiveness of his longtime association with the notion of ‘cool.’

Alan Deutschman’s article finds him at the Eleven Madison Park restaurant in New York. During a tour of the kitchen, he notices a large photograph of Miles Davis.

It turned out that four years earlier, a critic from the New York Observer, Moira Hodgson, had mentioned the trumpeter in her review, Madison Avenue Makeover: Star Chef Gives New Personality, which appeared soon after the 29-year-old Daniel Humm had taken over as chef. Hodgson had awarded Eleven Madison Park an impressive three and a half stars out of a possible four, but she added that the restaurant could use “a bit more Miles Davis.”

That’s about as totally vague and totally spot-on as it gets in one statement about Miles Davis.

The team at Eleven Madison Park used the article as an inspiration. What followed was a crash course in All Things Miles Davis; they compiled a list of words ‘that were often used to describe what had made him great over the several decades of his prolific career.’

Here’s the list, which they inscribed on the kitchen wall in big lettering covering from ceiling to floor:

* Cool
* Endless Reinvention
* Forward Moving
* Inspired
* Fresh
* Collaborative
* Spontaneous
* Vibrant
* Adventurous
* Light
* Innovative

Eleven Madison Park did finally receive that 4-star rating from the New York Times in August 2009.

Miles Davis, Savior of Businesses

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