\\ Eight interesting facts about Miles Davis
Following the release of Miles Ahead in 2016 starring Don Cheadle, Miles Davis once again gained deserved attention. Whilst the plot may be fictional, these eight facts about Miles are all true – some of them we learnt whilst chatting to the man who wrote Miles’ biography and memoirs, Quincy Troupe. He features in our Miles Davis radio doc which you can hear on Mixcloud.
1 \\ Miles Davis was a keen boxer; he credits boxing with helping him to fight his drug addiction in the fifties, often training with his friend, the renowned boxer Sugar Ray Robinson.
2 \\ That raspy voice didn’t always belong to Miles; it was the result of him arguing with another musician too soon after having an operation to remove polyps from his larynx in 1955.
3 \\ Michael Jackson, Prince and Frank Sinatra were all keen to release music with the trumpeter. Whilst Miles was keen on the idea with the former two, he said he’d rather just listen to Franky S.
4 \\ Miles Davis scored several films during his career, including the 1987 crime drama Street Smart and 1957’s cult-classic Elevator To The Gallows. Remembered as the ‘cool’ era, the film’s score was a prelude to his seminal album that followed two years later, Kind Of Blue.
5 \\ Miles Davis’ dry sense of humour meant he delivered some excellent one liners, once suggested that a group of classically trained trumpeters couldn’t “improvise their way out of a paper bag”.
6\\ The trumpeter was an innovator who rarely gave any attention to his old music; of musicians who played the same licks time and time again he said, “it’s like going to bed with a real old person”.
7 \\ Miles Davis hung out with a hipster crowd. Some of his closest friends included Prince, Richard Pryor and, er, Bill Cosby.
8\\ Before he passed in 1991, Miles Davis was working on an album that featured rap. Quincy Troupe tells us, “he was looking at ways of combining African, Caribbean and Brazilian music with hip hop”.
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JS | Tina Edwards