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  • Published: 31 May 2012
  • ISBN: 9781448106462
  • Imprint: Cornerstone Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 496

So What

The Life of Miles Davis




The definitive life of one of the greatest and most influential of jazz musicians

Miles Davis was one of the crucial influences in the development of modern jazz. His Kind of Blue is an automatic inclusion in any critic's list of the great jazz albums, the one record people who own no other jazz records possess, and still sells 250,000 copies a year in the US alone. But Miles regularly changed styles, leaving his inimitable impact on many forms of jazz, whether he created them or simply developed the work of others, from modal jazz to be-bop, his seminal quintet and his big-band work, to the jazz funk experiments of later years.

Miles not only knew and worked with everyone who was anyone in jazz, from Coltrane to Monk, he was a friend of Sartre's, lover of Juliette Greco and musical collaborator with musicians who ranged from Stockhausen to Hendrix. John Swzed is uniquely well-qualified to do justice to Miles, both in terms of his impact on jazz, and as one of the great Black Americans: as political figure, icon and archetypal cool dude. His book fills in the gaps left by myth-making about Miles' life - both by Miles himself and by his previous biographers - telling the story of his childhood, his depressions and his relationship with heroin as well as the more familiar public career.

  • Published: 31 May 2012
  • ISBN: 9781448106462
  • Imprint: Cornerstone Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 496

About the author

John Szwed

John Szwed is Professor of Music and Jazz Studies at Columbia University, and Director of the Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University. He is the author of a number of books, including Billie Holiday: The Musician and the Myth, Alan Lomax: The Man Who Recorded the World and So What: The Life of Miles Davis.

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Praise for So What

Szwed mixes terrific musical analysis with a deep insight into Davis's life, character and collaboration

Evening Standard

Szwed is an accomplished sifter of wheat from the chaff. He is not only a musicologist, he is an anthripologist

The Times

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