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Miles Paperback – September 20, 2011
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"San Francisco Chronicle" This is not just any book. As with everything else he has done, Davis's work as writer is likely to raise controversy. The book could well be subtitled "Miles Tells All" for this volume is crammed with juicy gossip about most of the key figures in modern jazz.
About the Author
Miles Davis was a legendary jazz trumpeter and bandleader who shaped the direction of jazz in the mid-twentieth century. He died in 1991.
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Top customer reviews
The book itself is well written. It stays painstakingly true to Miles’ own voice, so the book is street-wise and rough. Despite coming from a privileged background Miles not only developed that voice, he cultivated it his entire life. Taking the language at face value, the book is still very readable, but I would hesitate to say it was enjoyable. At times it was a struggle to read, just because some of it is so sad, and other bits are so acerbic and one-sided.
People interested in jazz history, like myself, will appreciate some of the insight this firsthand account brings, but one must keep in mind that when the discussion is not based on historical fact, it is all one man’s opinion or, in some cases, a direct account of what might have happened based on his drug addled memory. Personally, I just took everything at face value, and this allowed me to see a little bit inside Miles that I hadn’t really been aware of before.
This book is excellent. It’s a great detailing of a great musician and a wonderful time in the history of jazz. If it were a little easier to read and maybe some of the confused parts were fact checked and back written, this would be a five star book. Reflecting in as much detail as it does, even on a flawed subject and his equally flawed memories, however, it still provides some remarkable stories and insights, so I think it deserves at least four stars.
My first audio book and won't be my last.
I must say that I was amazed at the anger and hatred that Mr. Davis carried with him throughout his life. Perhaps it was this angst was the vehicle that fueled his musical aspirations. I'll let the reader make more judgements on Miles in the realm of why Miles had so much hate flowing in him. On the other side of the coin, here was this musician who was driven by his love for music to strive to perfect his art and communicate his emotions through his trumpet and his musical guidance of other musicians.
Miles is blunt in his observations, be it working with Parker and Trane, to hob-knobbing with Cicily Tyson and the jet-setters that she associated with.
This autobiography inspired me to investigate Thelonius Monk, Charlie Mingus and Sonny Rollins to name a few. I've been a fan of Coltrane and Parker and knew of their lives prior to reading Miles' autobiography.
This is a must-read or a must-listen for anyone who is interested in learning about a person who has shaped music and the jazz genre.
I am not sure if Miles would have liked what I wrote hear, but if you could read this Miles... I salute you!