CAIRO – 28 September 2017: September 28 marks the day the world lost jazz music legend Miles Davis on 1991. Davis was known for his trumpet playing skills and was at the forefront of Jazz as it changed and evolved, always growing with it.
Davis was born on May 26, 1926 in Illinois to a successful African-American family; his father being an accomplished dental surgeon while his mother was a music teacher. However, it was his dad that introduced Davis to music, when he gifted him with a trumpet at the age of 13, setting Davis down for a musical journey that would last his whole life.
Under the tutelage of his father’s friend, trumpet player Elwood Buchanan, Davis grew more accomplished with the instrument, and was already performing onstage alongside Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker. By 1944, Davis set off to pursue his musical education at New York’s Institute of Musical Art, now known as The Juilliard School.
While studying, Davis decided to join Parker while he played at the Harlem nightclubs. There, he met the fellow musicians he would work with to create an entirely new musical genre, be-bop.
Dropping out of Juilliard, Davis pursued a career in jazz full-time, and had joined up with the Charlie Parker Quintet, before joining as bandleader for the Miles Davis Sextet in 1946. In 1949, he released his first album, “Birth of the Cool,” which was comprised of several singles that were considered immensely influential to the jazz scene.
Leading his own quintet, Davis continued to revolutionize jazz as an art-form, his style constantly shifting and changing; he contributed to “cool jazz,” a soulful and deep style that didn’t catch on with the masses but formed a whole movement.
Fighting off drug addiction, Davis managed to form a permanent band that lasted with him throughout his entire career. His album, “Kind of Blue,” became one of the best selling jazz albums of all time.
In total, Davis’s musical career lasted for six decades, his band members and style constantly evolving as Davis swung his way into the future.
He won numerous Grammy Awards and a year before he passed away from pneumonia at the age of 65; Davis had been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award. His final award, the Best Large Jazz Ensemble Performance, was awarded posthumously in 1993 for his performance with Quincy Jones.
Davis went out as one of the coolest cats to have ever entered the jazz scene, always looking forward and reinventing himself.