Jack's Miles Davis Essay

Jack's Miles Davis Essay - John Saver 503756583 The Musical...

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John Saver 503756583 February 18, 2011 The Musical Contributions of Miles Davis In the illustrious history of jazz in America, there are several individuals who stand out above the rest for their significant influence and contributions to the genre. Jazz is an ever evolving style of music, and it is these individuals who spur the genre from one style to the next. One such musician is Miles Davis. Known for being distant, aloof, menacing and confident, Davis developed a reputation that was as well known as his playing ability. His attitude and ap- proach to his music, along with his ability to collaborate with other prominent musicians, made him an icon in the jazz world for over forty years. Davis became a pioneer of jazz through his ever-progressing style and his unique creative drive, and is revered for being at the vanguard of several musical movements. Davis emerged on the jazz scene in 1947, when he sought out Charlie Parker and other prominent bop players. At an early age, Davis began putting himself in the know with the fam- ous jazz musicians of the time. His first noteworthy contribution to jazz came when he began working with writer and composer, Gil Evans, and other members of the Claude Thornhill band. Evans and Davis were a perfect musical match, and their collaborations and experimentations ul- timately launched them to the front of the cool jazz movement. This experimental group, centered on the compositional talents of Evans and led by Davis on trumpet, consisted of nine members, including Gerry Mulligan on baritone saxophone, and Lee Konitz on alto saxophone. The ensemble broke away from the complex bebop harmonies, and instead focused on finding a new sound that was not as aggressive or as fast paced as bop. They used a softer tone and a more understated style of play that emphasized harmonic color rather than harmonic complexity.
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Through Davis, the group was able to get into the recording studio where they recorded the al- bum Birth of the Cool, which is one of the most influential albums in cool jazz (Carr). Songs such as “Boplicity” truly show the parting from the fiery bop style, as the musicians played using a subtle, aloof approach to the music. Evans’ creative and subtle use of the orchestra accentuated
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Jack's Miles Davis Essay - John Saver 503756583 The Musical...

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