Miles Davis Biography

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Big Daddy, Jan 7, 2010.

  1. Bixel

    Bixel Pianissimo User

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    Germany
    Since sexual preference is not significant, why not talk about it then?
    IMO there is just nothing indecent about being homo-, bi- or even heterosexual.

    Whatever Miles' sexual preference may have been - it would not take anything away from him having been the incredible trumpet player he was.

    No prejudice, please.

    ;-)
    .
     
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Bixel,
    I have no problem with sexual preference. I do with BS however. Facts are ok. Rumours, myths and the like are not. Wikipedia has even had to change their approach because court battles due to false rumours constantly being posted about "celebrities".

    Even if Miles was on AZT, it is no proof of anything, except exposure which can result from a blood infusion, an unclean doctor or dentist, or sexual preference.

    This is a trumpet site, not yellow press, medicine or biology. Sexuality has nothing to do with ones playing. If it did, we could discuss the method books in detail!
     
  3. Bixel

    Bixel Pianissimo User

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    Phew...

    I'm a freak.

    :-(
     
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Write a book with your proof. There are plenty that will volunteer to review it.......

    Maybe you need to cut down your diet of graphical images and let your imagination work more........

    Seriously, I only wanted to make the point that stupidly repeating rumours is malicious. For celebrities as "dynamic" as Miles was I don't want to get anything stupid started. I don't buy "I heard", "I read" or the worst "I didn't know". There is a sphere of intimacy around each of us and outsiders have no right to treat that lightly.
     
  5. dhbailey

    dhbailey Piano User

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    I found the Miles biography presented on Bravo (available as a separate purchase these days, I think) to be very well done. I had read his autobiography and what I saw in the video presentation simply confirmed much of what he said in the autobiography. It is an excellent thing to watch.

    Regarding Mingus' autobiography, I have to disagree with the complaints about it not being worthwhile -- he spent a lot more than just a few pages discussing his music, and I came away with a picture of the man which confirmed and explained a lot about his music. I'm sorry if others didn't gain anything by it, but I stand by my recommendations to others to read it (not that I made such a recommendation in this thread). Even if a lot of it is made up (I'm not saying that it is, just that others have made the claim) the very fact of his making that up says a lot about the man and what he felt he had to prove in his "not quite black and not quite white and not quite hispanic" existence. I can't begin to imagine what hell he went through growing up.

    My only regrets about Miles's and Mingus's autobiographies is that they are so full of non-essential language (lots of m-f this in Miles, and lots of sexual "instruction book" in Mingus) that I can't recommend either to my under-age private students to try to help them gain insights into the musicians and their music.
     
  6. Phil986

    Phil986 Forte User

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    Near Portland, OR.
    I don't know anything about Miles using AZT in the 80's, however I know he died only in 1991. I saw his last concert in Paris at the festival in La Villette. Although he was playing modern stuff that is not my favorite, it was an experience. I remember seeing him getting in and out of the building and there didn't seem to be a single white guy anywhere near him.
    I have to agree with dhbailey on the autobios. I guess the language is part of the experience and how these men went through life but I don't care for it. I found Mingus' book kinda disturbing in some aspects but it's still a window to his mind and should not be discounted altogether.
     
  7. muchan

    muchan New Friend

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    You may not remember or have not seeing white guys around him, but John McLaughlin, Mike Stern, etc, are white guys playing around him.
    In earlier days, Lee Konitz, even Gil Evans...
    As for music, he didn't have problem with white musicians...
     
  8. Bay Area Brass

    Bay Area Brass Piano User

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    What I found interesting and valuable in Miles' autobiography is his "first hand" perspective of his personal take on music, running a band as musical director and his approach to improvisation. I enjoyed reading about these things in his own words- most books are a view of what someone else thought about him or his music. As a musician, i find this very informative and useful.
     
  9. trpt2345

    trpt2345 Mezzo Forte User

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    The best book to date about Miles is John Szwed's So What. He even got his transcripts from Juilliard; he studied with Vacchiano for three semesters and got a B+. Hardly the received wisdom. ("He went to Juilliard for a month and then dropped out to find Charlie Parker.") Cahmbers's book is worthless, Carr's is ok if not very deep, George Cole and Paul Tingen's books are good looks at his later periods, the autobio is a great read but only partially true. BTW, Mingus's auto bio Benaeth the Underdog is a fascinating piece. Mingus could really write. See the chapter about playing a gig with both Tatum and Parker, done all in dialogue. Masterful writing. Sy Johnson said the manuscript was about four times longer than the eventual book but they cut out most of the music stuff and left all the sex stuff in. Which actually contains some good advice for youngsters......
     
  10. Bixel

    Bixel Pianissimo User

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    This is a trumpet site, not Wikipedia.
    Eliminating from TM everything not being proven fact would not leave much behind.

    Talking about trumpet stuff is (besides talking about facts) talking about art and artists.
    Talking about art and artists from a system analyst's point of view for sure is an option.
    Not the only one possible though.

    :play:
    .
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2010

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