Jazz_PPT_ch14 - Jazz Scott DeVeaux & Gary Giddins...

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Jazz Scott DeVeaux & Gary Giddins Lecture Outlines and Art Chapter 14 The Modality of Miles Davis and John Coltrane © 2009 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.
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Photo 14-1 © 2009 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.
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The Sorcerer: Miles Davis (1926–1991) Nobody looms larger in postwar jazz than Miles, partly because no one had a greater capacity for change. He changed the rules of jazz five times from 1949 to 1969. 1949–1950: the “Birth of the Cool” sessions helped focus a younger generation’s search for something beyond bop and started the cool jazz movement. 1954: “Walkin’” started the hard bop movement. 1957–1960: with Gil Evans he enlarged the scope of jazz composition, big bands, and recording projects while adding a new, meditative mood to jazz. 1959: Kind of Blue was the culmination of Davis’s experiments with modes and melodic improvisation replacing the harmonic complexity of bop. 1969: Bitches Brew started fusion, shifting the focus from melody to rhythm.
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The Sorcerer: Miles Davis (1926–1991) (cont’d) Throughout this twenty-year period, Davis forced a rethinking of harmony, melody, rhythm, and instrumentation, while his approach to trumpet playing remained pretty much the same. His persona was also very influential: the archetypal jazz musician (cool, romantic) and civil rights black man (outspoken, self-reliant); charismatic, a symbol of his time, imitated for his dress and attitude (“bad dude”); he was mysterious to many.
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The Sorcerer: Miles Davis (1926–1991) (cont’d) Childhood and Early Start Born in Illinois into a wealthy black family that moved to East St. Louis when he was one, he grew up self-confident. He studied trumpet in school and had private lessons from a member of the St. Louis Symphony. He listened avidly and became friendly with trumpeter Clark Terry. In 1944 he sat in with the Billy Eckstine band next to Dizzy (who advised him to learn piano and harmony) and Bird. Later that year he went to Juilliard in New York, where he stayed for around a year before dropping out to learn and play with Bird.
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The Sorcerer: Miles Davis (1926–1991) (cont’d) From Bop to Cool In 1945, when Davis was nineteen, Bird hired him for his quintet. He soloed on a couple of pieces (“Now’s the Time” and “Billie’s Bounce”) but lacked the chops for “Ko-Ko,” so Gillespie stepped in. This event encapsulated Davis’s dilemma while he was with this band (to December 1948): how to develop his own style in the shadow of Bird and Diz. He also played with the big bands of Benny Carter and Gillespie. Some thought that his introverted style and relatively mediocre technique made him a second-rate bebopper. Soloing after Bird every night did not help dispel that impression.
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The Sorcerer: Miles Davis (1926–1991) (cont’d) From Bop to Cool (cont’d) In contrast to the high register and notey playing of boppers, Miles preferred the middle register, longer and fewer notes, and
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Jazz_PPT_ch14 - Jazz Scott DeVeaux & Gary Giddins...

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