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Miles Davis: The Complete Illustrated History Hardcover – November 19, 2012
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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.Read more ›
I was a Miles fan from when I first heard his last 4 Prestige records back when they were released; listening to the gang on the JazzKnob (KNOB)
in LA. I bought Miles 'Steamin' first with the great cover shot. It was getting a lot of air play. Of course through this great Jazz station I was able to hear earlier Miles work with the great Jazz legends (Bird, Monk, Birth of the Cool band, Gil Evans orch., etc). Of course when Kind of Blue came out, it seemed like EVERYONE was listening to Miles. At a cousins wedding dance/reception the band was playing 'So What" during their break while we were hanging there. David Raskin told the story of how Bonislaw Kaper was awoken on a Sunday by a friend calling to tell him "he was going to be rich" because Miles had just recorded 'On Green Dolphin Street" the night before.
I was fortunate enough to catch the band many times in LA (2nd great quintet). We even saw reunion concert of the Blue sextet on a Sunday afternoon in small concert hall on Sunset Blvd. A black guy standing in line with us had his little boy with him so he would be able to see history
in person. My favorite memory was at the It Club catching the quintet when George Coleman was on tenor. Before the first set started, the band was hanging out in the audience area and Miles set his horn on my table while he was chatting with the musicians.
These are some of the memories this book and my many lps and cds bring to mind.
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 colour.
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 centre-stage.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great jazz history, nice price and super fast shipping would recommend, in fact I do recommend this product to anyone that likes jazz. great musicians and a superb informationPublished on January 11, 2014 by Frank C. Walton