- Legacy and Alchemy
The Late Great Miles Davis!
Miles Davis BIO:
Miles Davis was born on May 26, 1926, in Alton, Illinois. Davis grew up in a supportive middle-class household, where he was introduced by his father to the trumpet at age 13. Davis quickly developed a talent for playing the trumpet under the private tutelage of Elwood Buchanan, a friend of his father who directed a music school. Buchanan emphasized playing the trumpet without vibrato, which was contrary to the common style used by trumpeters such as Louis Armstrong, and which would come to influence and help develop the Miles Davis style.
Davis played professionally while in high school. When he was 17 years old, Davis was invited by Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker to join them onstage when the famed musicians realized they needed a trumpet player to replace a sick bandmate. Soon after, in 1944, Davis left Illinois for New York, where he would soon enroll at the Juilliard School (known at the time as the Institute of Musical Art). In 1945, Miles Davis elected, with his father's permission, to drop out of Juilliard and become a full-time jazz musician. A member of the Charlie Parker Quintet at the time, Davis made his first recording as a bandleader in 1946 with the Miles Davis Sextet. Between 1945 and 1948, Davis and Parker recorded continuously. It was during this period that Davis worked on developing the improvisational style that defined his trumpet playing.
In 1949, Davis formed a nine-piece band with uncommon additions, such as the French horn, trombone and tuba. He released a series of singles that would later be considered a significant contribution to modern jazz. They were later released as part of the album Birth of the Cool. In the early 1950s, Davis became addicted to heroin. While he was still able to record, it was a difficult period for the musician and his performances were haphazard. Davis overcame his addiction in 1954, around the same time that his performance of "'Round Midnight" at the Newport Jazz Festival earned him a recording contract with Columbia Records. There, he also created a permanent band, comprised of John Coltrane, Paul Chambers and Red Garland.
Davis recorded several albums with his sextet during the 1950s, includingPorgy and Bess and Kind of Blue, his final album of the decade, released in 1959. Now considered one of the best jazz albums ever recorded, Kind of Blue is credited as the largest-selling jazz album of all time, selling more than 2 million copies.
Davis continued to be be successful throughout the 1960s. His band transformed over time, largely due to new band members and changes in style. The various members of his band went on to become some of the most influential musicians of the jazz fusion era. These included Wayne Shorter and Joe Zawinul (Weather Report), Chick Corea (Return to Forever), and John McLaughlin and Billy Cobham (Mahavishnu Orchestra).
From 1979 to 1981, Davis worked on recordings that culminated in the release of the album The Man with the Horn, which registered steady sales but wasn't well-received by critics. Davis spent the 1980s continuing to experiment with different styles. He interpreted songs made popular by Michael Jackson ("Human Nature") and Cyndi Lauper ("Time After Time") on his album You're Under Arrest, released in 1985.
Davis reinvented himself yet again in 1986 with the release of Tutu. Incorporating synthesizers, drum loops and samples, the album was well-received and garnered Davis another Grammy Award. This was followed by the release of Aura, an album that Davis had created in 1985 as a tribute to the Miles Davis "aura," but wasn't released until 1989. Davis won yet another Grammy for this project.
In honor of his body of work, in 1990, Miles Davis received a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award.
Vince Wilburn Jr. BIO:
Wilburn son of Dorothy Mae Davis, the sister of Miles Davis, and her husband Vincent Wilburn, Sr. In kindergarten he started five year, drumming on pots and pans. On the advice of Miles Davis, he received six years as a gift from his parents drums. As a nine year old boy he was allowed to start at a concert of his uncle in Chicago jazz club the drums of Plugged Nickel Jack DeJohnette set. During his time in high school, he founded his own bands, but also played with Time, Space and Distance and was a studio musician used to recordings of "The Dells." He received his musical training at
the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago. In 1979 he worked with guitarist Pete Cosey. In 1980, he played in the radio band, AL7 who first practiced in the basement of his mother and the rhythm section of Davis was invited to New York in 1980. There rehearsed Wilburn and his colleagues with Davis and played the first pieces for the album, The Man with the Horn. AL7 then took with Ramsey Lewis on. Wilburn also worked with Oscar Brown. In 1983, he became a member of Cameo.
Wilburn has been involved as an associate producer on the Davis album, Decoy, which was published in the spring of 1984. In the summer of 1984, Davis Wilburn picked as co-producers for his album, "You're Under Arrest." He also shared the drum chair with Al Foster. After the shooting took him Davis in his touring band, where he remained until 1987. In 1985 invited him Miles Davis a, in Copenhagen as a drummer on his album Aura participate, in 1990 a Grammy received. In 1989, he went to Los Angeles, where he met Ron Bishop played (Piano Vibrations) and other musicians and produced before he founded his production company, NEFDRUM that with Billy Preston, Darryl Jones, Charley Drayton, Ivan Neville, Ray Parker Jr. , Wah Wah Watson, Freddie Washington, Randy Hall and Phil Upchurch (Tell the Truth) recorded. In 2006, he was involved from where Miles project India, with whom he was on an international tour and its double album for a 2008 Grammy nomination. He currently heads the Miles Electric Band, with Jimmy Cobb.
As one might imagine ... there is a big story associated with this production.
Miles Davis and Gil Evans recorded this great Jobim song in 1962 as part of "a follow up” recording to their classic “Sketches of Spain.”
It didn’t work; and, Miles and Gil abandoned the Brazil project before its completion. They knew the concept didn’t work. While their classic “Sketches of Spain” was a labor of (Gil’s) love of Spanish music, “Quiet Nights” (“Corcovado’s English title) was a Brazilian “manufacture” of the record label.
Miles and Gil started doing “Sketches of Spain”-type arrangements ... and knew it wasn’t working.
So, they stopped.
Moreover, Miles and Gil were recording before the famous November 1962 “Brazilian invasion” of Bossa Nova ... signaled by the Carnegie Hall concert of that month. So, Miles and Gil’s version of “Corcovado” from the 1962 recording didn’t reflect Bossa Nova.
Later, the record company added songs to the still-born project, and released the album as “Quiet Nights” ... something that deeply alienated Miles for some period of time from his record producer Teo Macero.
The album is one of the less stellar parts of the great Miles catalog.
Moreover, Miles and Gil were recording before the famous November 1962 “Brazilian invasion” of Bossa Nova ... signaled by the Carnegie Hall concert of that month. So, Miles and Gil’s version of “Corcovado” from the 1962 recording didn’t reflect Bossa Nova. Later, the record company added songs to the still-born project, and released the album as “Quiet Nights” ... something that deeply alienated Miles for some period of time from his record producer Teo Macero. The album is one of the less stellar parts of the great Miles catalog.