Miles Davis Estate Plans Event At SXSW 2012

If you are planning to be in Austin this month for the 2012 SXSW music, film, and interactive conference, you can make it a point to swing by the Miles Davis House.

Hosted by Erin Davis and Vince Wilburn Jr., Davis’ son and nephew, respectively, the event takes place on March 15th at the historic Victory Grill from 2 pm until 2 am.

Attendees can look forward to food and cocktails, Monster Headphone listening stations, a Miles Davis pop-up store, giveaways, live music and much more.

Miles Davis House @ SXSW should be a lot of fun down in Texas. Drop a line here for more info.

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Miles Davis / In Pictures

Well… it’s really all-time cool guy Steve McQueen ‘in pictures’, but Miles Davis is present. If McQueen wasn’t cool enough already, check the copy of Kind of Blue on the floor.

Nothin’ wrong with that!

And when I think of Miles Davis and Steve McQueen, I am reminded of the classic photo by Jim Marshall of the two gents backstage at the Monterey Jazz festival, 1963.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: A cooler twosome you shall not find.

Photo: Miles & Steve 1963, © Jim Marshall

Miles Davis and Modal Jazz

Via Speakin’ the Blues I discovered a thesis written by Myles Boothroyd of Central Michigan University called “Modal Jazz and Miles Davis: George Russell’s Influence and the Melodic Inspiration Behind Modal Jazz”.

Yes! Academia and Miles Davis all at once! It’s actually quite interesting for those seeking more in-depth thought into Miles Davis and the technical aspects of modal jazz – especially when the thesis shifts to Davis and the recording of Kind of Blue.

Here is the .pdf file. Grab a latte’, drop the needle on Kind of Blue and enjoy. It won’t be like reading a homework assignment, I promise!

Happy Valentine’s Day From Miles Davis Online

The Miles Davis Stamp: Notes On A Design

I am so happy to have stumbled upon this terrific column by Greg Breeding over at Story Matters. Breeding is Creative Director of Journey Group, a creative firm that specializes in design, publishing, content, and just being all-around super creative.

Breeding writes about his recent assignment to design the stamps commemorating both Miles Davis and Edith Piaf, joint issuance between the United States Postal Service and the French La Poste. We’ve been excited about the stamp from the moment we posted the news a few weeks back. And now we have the opportunity to appreciate the design process that produced both stamps.

Here are a two excerpts from Breeding’s excellent story about his design experience with the Miles Davis stamp:

But I became almost instantly bored with the idea of portraiture, and my sketching made me wonder if there were a way to capture Miles and Edith performing. It was then that I remembered an iconic image of Miles playing his trumpet from the early 1960s, and — thanks to our friends from Google — I had the image on my desktop in moments.

To be perfectly honest, once the idea of using this iconic image came to mind, I tossed the sketchbook aside.

I was struck by the way Miles often leaned back while playing the trumpet and the way Edith used her body and hands to express her voice. I picked up my sketchbook again to explore how I could make use of their unique body language, to see if some visual organization could emerge. To my delight, pencil strokes helped me discover a simple parallel structure to hold these disparate figures together.

Miles Davis Autobiography Now Has A Voice To Tell The Story

Miles: The Autobiography is a terrific book for Miles Davis fans – or just anyone interested in jazz history. And now I am happy to know I can listen to Miles’ story as well. That should definitely add an interesting layer to what is a remarkable book about the life of the jazz legend.

Via Publishers Weekly, I stopped by the AugioGo website to get info on the audio-book, plus watch a cool interview with the book’s narrator – Dion Graham. His dulcet tones (love when I get to use that phrase) is an ideal match for the book’s wide range of emotion and information.

Miles Davis, Music Discovery and ColorHits

In my daily, inspired pursuit of music discovery – both new and old -, I am most grateful for the many online platforms built to help me discover and share music. New to my arsenal of music discovery tools is ColorHits, a rather unique way to discover and connect to music.

Shifting his web and graphic design talents to the music discovery space, ColorHits founder Matt Barrett has built a powerful discovery tool that provides the user a color search of album art for more than 2 million albums – with new titles added every week. Still in Beta, ColorHits is designed so users can preview tracks, download from iTunes and share on Facebook and Twitter.

I recently spoke with Barrett about his music discovery endeavor. He was also happy to use Miles Davis as an example of how ColorHits was designed to help explore new music by connecting color similarities in album art.

I mentioned that ColorHits is still in Beta, but early access is currently available. Definitely drop by ColorHits to sign up and request your invite to take a closer look at the music discovery tool.

Click HERE to sign-up!

Miles Davis Online: What is the story behind how – and why – you developed ColorHits?
Matt Barrett: ColorHits was actually not my first attempt at creating a new way to discover music. It started when the Beatles were first introduced on iTunes and all the fan-fare that came with it. It had its own press conference, it took over the apple website… it all seemed a bit much to me. I was first thinking of a way to mock such an extravagant music launch, creating oddly-named, fake bands that would be a ‘daily deal’ approach to new bands. Humor was the main purpose but another use was to connect people to real bands in iTunes based off the fake band name. It sounds ridiculous describing it now and, at the time, I realized it would require a lot of creative power on my part.

During this exploration period, I came across one piece of album art that ultimately lead me to continue with ColorHits as it exists today. The album was Kanye West’s 808s and Heartbreak. I noticed the color bar on the left side and thought, what if those colors were a summary of the colors in the album art. Of course for this example, that isn’t the case, but I thought to myself, ‘what other albums use those same colors?’ Rewind 2 years and I was actually working on code for a separate project that did just that. I mashed both of them together and ColorHits was born.

Continue reading “Miles Davis, Music Discovery and ColorHits”

The Miles Davis Movie: A New Unofficial Teaser Poster To Enjoy

Our friend Michael Stadtlender has designed seven really outstanding unofficial teaser poster designs for Don Cheadle’s Miles Davis Biopic. It’s a pleasure for me to publish the work on Miles Davis Online.

If I’m the person down the road charged with marketing the film, I would absolutely seek out talents like Stadtlender, along with Julien Trédan-Turini and Heath Killen, who each contributed awesome teaser poster designs, and devise some kind of design contest/workshop/whatever that utilizes the skill of artists who clearly have a love for design and Miles Davis.

But that is a discussion for another time.

Here we have Stadtlender’s latest – and it rocks! We wish the movie was opening summer 2012!! What I like is how Stadtlender plays with all sorts of visual styles from one design to another; a touch of modern here, a tip of the cap to the legendary Saul Bass there – a nice variety of color, design and concept.

I added a gallery below of all eight teaser poster designs. But here is the latest.

© Michael Stadtlender

Miles Davis Tribute Concert Streaming Online – For Now

Peter Hum posted today (2/1) about Wall to Wall Miles Davis – a 12-hour tribute to the entirety of Miles Davis’ music that took place on March 24, 2001 in New York.

Click HERE to listen to the event, which featured folks like Jimmy Cobb, Wallace Roney and Bob Belden.

Featuring an all-star cast of hundreds of instrumentalists and vocalists, Wall to Wall Miles Davis touches on every aspect of Davis’ stunning career –from his early days as a bopper through his birth of the cool and modal jazz innovations, from his heart-wrenching ballads to his radical fusion experiments.