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Miles Davis: The Complete Illustrated History Hardcover – November 19, 2012


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"One could spend hours with this coffee table book and never get bored." - L.A. Jazz Scene


“Another book on Miles Davis?  The folks behind Miles Davis: The Complete Illustrated History (Voyageur Press) have come up with two distinct angles: First, of course, there are the photographs.  Also included are some big (and not so big) names to accompany different sections of the book.  Among the scribes: Sonny Rollins, Bill Cosby, and Herbie Hancock.  The names of writer Francis Davis and Davis biographer Ashley Kahn also grace the cover.
 
“A smattering of rare images of the always stylish Davis from his last stretch during the 1980’s and early 90’s closes out what is clearly the flashiest chronicle (thus far) of the Prince of Darkness.” - Downbeat


“This book has it all, from the way Miles Davis changed the face of Jazz, to his dark side of drug abuse, to creating an album that will stand the test of time. The book has become the new "go to" place to find out about all things Miles Davis.” - Record-Journal

From the Inside Flap

Among the contributors:
 
Sonny Rollins is one of the greatest living saxophonists, famous for honing his chops practicing on the Brooklyn Bridge. He first recorded with Miles Davis in 1951.
 
Comedian Bill Cosby has been a jazz fan since way back when.
 
Keyboardist Herbie Hancock joined Miles Davis' second great quintet in 1963 and played a starring role in redefining the jazz rhythm section and launching the post-bop sound.
 
Jazz promoter and producer George Wein is one of the world's most famous jazz impresarios and the most important non-player in jazz history. He is the founder of the Newport Jazz Festival.
 
Ashley Kahn has written books on the making of two major jazz albums, Kind of Blue by Miles Davis and A Love Supreme by John Coltrane, as well as a history of Impulse Records.
 
Robin D. G. Kelley is the author of the landmark biography Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original.
 
Francis Davis is the jazz critic for The Village Voice, a contributing editor for The Atlantic Monthly, and author of numerous books on jazz and the blues.
 
Garth Cartwright is a regular writer for The Guardian, The Sunday Times, and the BBC. He is the author of Princes Amongst Men: Journeys with Gypsy Musicians and More Miles Than Money: Journeys Through American Music.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Voyageur Press; First edition (November 19, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0760342628
  • ISBN-13: 978-0760342626
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 0.9 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #230,796 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Garth is the author of three acclaimed non-fiction books:

Princes Amongst Men: Journeys With Gypsy Musicians (Serpents Tail 2005)

More Miles Than Money: Journeys Through American Music (Serpents Tail 2009).

Sweet As: Journeys In A New Zealand Summer (Allen & Unwin 2011)

These books have received wide international praise with Professor Ian Hancock of the University of Texas's Romany Studies dept calling Princes Amongst Men "the best book so far written on the Gypsies" while Chris Strachwitz, founder of legendary American roots music label Arhoolie, said of More Miles Than Money "an exceptional book. Every gringo should read it."

Both of these books have separate, stand alone CD soundtrack albums released to accompany them by record labels in Berlin and London. Garth's third book is Sweet As: Journeys In A New Zealand Summer (Allen & Unwin 2011). This is Garth's most autobiographical book, chronicling as it does his return to New Zealand after twenty years living away. In Sweet As he looks at a nation once familiar yet distant and as he travels discusses the music, artists, films and writers he most values in that nation. Sweet As has been praised as "laugh out loud funny" and is proving a favourite amongst visitors to New Zealand who wish to get beyond the nation's surface.

Garth also writes regularly for Voyageur Books, contributing the biographical chapters to Miles Davis: The Complete Illustrated History and several biographies to Rockabilly: The Twang Heard 'Round The World.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For fans of Miles Davis (like me) this is a great book to add to the library. The chapters (beginning in 1926) are broken down into chronological periods, with different writers for each chapter. Writers include the well known authority on Davis, Ashley Khan, the well known (and respected) jazz critic/writer Francis Davis, musicians like Clark Terry, Sonny Rollins, Ron Carter (whose autobiography/memoir, (some autographed),"finding the right notes", (sic) is a good read), Herbie Hancock, promoter George Wein, and several others.

The book is filled with beautiful reproductions of period photographs, posters, postcards, album covers, etc. that really add depth to the essays. As an example, look at page 84 which is a beautiful, full color poster reproduction of the movie Davis scored, Louis Malle's "Ascenseur Pour L'Echafaud". Davis improvised the score while watching the movie over a few hours with a very simple agreement with Malle. This music is some of my favorite early Davis-atmospheric and of it's time-even the various takes included on some issues are worthwhile.

By now most fans are (very) familiar with Davis' life and music. So is this book essential? Yes, because of the people chosen to write about Davis and the music, who have been close to Davis over his long career-as both musicians and as inside witnesses to Davis' life in music. Plus, the various (very cool) reproductions that help define each essay and the entire book. The many photos of Davis from throughout his career are especially nice. Check out the photo of a school band on page 16, with Davis seated in the back row with his trumpet, and gold braids on his uniform jacket, and then turn to page 184 to see how much (and how far) Davis has changed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By LESTER O'GARRO on April 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
GREAT WAY TO KNOW THE MILES DAVIS STORY THRU ART ILLUSTRATIONS AND ALBUM COVERS AS WELL AS ORIGINAL POSTERS FOR HIS WORD WIDE CONCERTS.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By The Guardian TOP 500 REVIEWER on January 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This large-format, high-quality hardcover publication is a fitting tribute to Miles Davis.

The book recounts the development of Miles' music episodically through roughly chronological chapters. Each chapter is penned by a new author, or sometimes two, so it's more of a series of essays than continuous narrative. Sonny Rollins, Bill Cosby, Ron Carter, Herby Hancock and Nalini Jones are some of the authors.

Where the book really scores is in its illustrations. The format is of a magazine-style `coffee table book' with fabulously evocative photos and images, both monochrome and full color.

More comprehensive biographies of Miles exist - that of Ian Carr, for example, or Miles' forthright autobiography. This is not in the same territory: it's more like a documentary film, with the illustrations center-stage.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A. Roach on January 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a gift for my son, who loves jazz and trumpet music. He says he loves it and was happy that he received it. His happiness is my happiness.
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By K. Bennett on October 6, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Absolutely love this book
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