No jazzman was ever a bigger rock star than Miles Davis.
Miles went so far beyond catergorization that his inspiration for records like On the Corner
came from funk innovator Sly Stone and experimental German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen.
Miles Davis kicked off the whole cool school of jazz with Birth of the Cool
in the 1950s.
Miles was eternally cool because he stayed rooted in the now and never looked back.
Turning down gigs at 52nd Street nightclubs like Birdland and opting instead to play the Isle of Wight rock festival for over 600,000 fans at a time, Miles refused to be boxed in.
By the time Birth of the Cool
spawned a whole new subgenre of jazz in the 1950s, Miles was already at the center of the hard-bop scene with records like Walkin'
Miles's exploration of musical modes instead of chord progressions blossomed on Kind of Blue
(1959), the greatest-selling jazz record of all time.
The about-facing Sketches of Spain
(1960) followed Kind of Blue
less than a year later. Inspired by classical and big-band music, it's the most celebrated of Miles's collaborations with arranger Gil Evans.
After a series of feted freebop recordings, Miles dropped his first full-on electric album, In a Silent Way
, and jazz was never the same. Again.
With producer Teo Macero slicing and dicing different takes like a pre-hip-hop mixmaster, the jazz-fusion highball Bitches Brew
(1970) proved there was never any turning back with Miles.
Dividing fans and critics alike, Bitches Brew
made it plain that Miles Davis was always going to do whatsoever he wanted.
Full of electric guitar and synthesizers, ambient mood and rock-style improvisation, Davis's double album Bitches Brew
marked the final major stylistic shift in jazz to date.
On his final studio album, Miles teamed with producer Easy Mo Bee (future collaborator with rapper Biggie Smalls) and came up with the 1992 Grammy-winning Doo-Bop