So What: The Life of Miles Davis

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9780684859835: So What: The Life of Miles Davis

Musical genius, visionary artist, enigma -- more than ten years after his death, Miles Davis still looms large as a cultural icon. In this, the first new biography since Davis' death, John Szwed draws on various archives and never-before-published interviews with those who knew him to produce the richest and most revealing portrait of Miles Davis to date.
The shy son of a dentist from Illinois, Miles Dewey Davis III would go through several transformations before becoming the image of cool. Change, says Szwed, was the driving force in both Davis' life and music -- as quickly as he established a new direction in his music and a new identity, he would radically reinvent both. He seemed to thrive on close musical relationships -- playing with jazz greats from Charlie Parker to John Coltrane and working with Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Wayne Shorter, and composer Gil Evans, among others -- and yet the enduring image of Davis is of a lone figure, famously turning his back on the audience. He was at the peak of his career, having achieved star status, when he withdrew from the spotlight, spending years as a recluse. These seeming contradictions fueled the myths surrounding the man, but Szwed's insights into Davis' personality and artistic creativity shed new light on his life, from his turbulent relationships to his drug use and mysterious last days. Elegantly written and carefully researched, So What is the authoritative life of an artist who was always ahead of his time.

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About the Author:

John Szwed is the John M. Musser Professor of Anthropology, African American Studies, Music, and American Studies at Yale University. He is the author of a number of books, including an introductory book about jazz, Jazz 101, and a biography, Space Is the Place: The Lives and Times of Sun Ra.

From Publishers Weekly:

Jazz genius Davis once said, "Don't you try to make me into a nice guy." Yale professor Szwed neither sentimentalizes nor attacks his subject in this impressive biography, concentrating instead on the fascinating contradictions that led to Davis's artistic greatness. The son of a successful dentist in Illinois, Davis (1926-1991) showed talent for the trumpet early and followed his vision despite disapproval from his mother. He attended Juilliard, married a girl from the wrong side of the tracks and joined Charlie Parker's group, struggling to find his style and overcome feelings of inadequacy against Parker's exhilarating brilliance. While pointing out Davis's love for altering chord progressions and his skill at sketching arrangements in literally seconds, Szwed tracks a life that eventually spiraled out of control. Unsparing accounts of the musician's cocaine and alcohol addiction transcend Davis's life and become a larger portrait of the traps that destroyed so many jazzmen. Davis's love affairs with Juliette Greco and Cicely Tyson grippingly illuminate the narcissism, sexual hunger and violence that made lasting relationships impossible. Szwed offers crisply detailed backstories to such masterpieces as Sketches of Spain, Round About Midnight and Miles Ahead. His prose has a musical pulse, and he highlights the most significant element of Davis's soul: "he told every woman he became involved with that music always came first, before family, children, lovers, friends." Davis's music has been called a "divine disease," and this in-depth study clarifies the nature of that compulsive, satisfying malady in a way that will enlighten listeners and musicians.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Descripción SIMON SCHUSTER, United States, 2004. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Musical genius, visionary artist, enigma -- more than ten years after his death, Miles Davis still looms large as a cultural icon. In this, the first new biography since Davis death, John Szwed draws on various archives and never-before-published interviews with those who knew him to produce the richest and most revealing portrait of Miles Davis to date. The shy son of a dentist from Illinois, Miles Dewey Davis III would go through several transformations before becoming the image of cool. Change, says Szwed, was the driving force in both Davis life and music -- as quickly as he established a new direction in his music and a new identity, he would radically reinvent both. He seemed to thrive on close musical relationships -- playing with jazz greats from Charlie Parker to John Coltrane and working with Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Wayne Shorter, and composer Gil Evans, among others -- and yet the enduring image of Davis is of a lone figure, famously turning his back on the audience. He was at the peak of his career, having achieved star status, when he withdrew from the spotlight, spending years as a recluse. These seeming contradictions fueled the myths surrounding the man, but Szwed s insights into Davis personality and artistic creativity shed new light on his life, from his turbulent relationships to his drug use and mysterious last days. Elegantly written and carefully researched, So What is the authoritative life of an artist who was always ahead of his time. Nº de ref. de la librería AAV9780684859835

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Descripción SIMON SCHUSTER, 2004. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Musical genius, visionary artist, enigma -- more than ten years after his death, Miles Davis still looms large as a cultural icon. In this, the first new biography since Davis death, John Szwed draws on various archives and never-before-published interviews with those who knew him to produce the richest and most revealing portrait of Miles Davis to date. The shy son of a dentist from Illinois, Miles Dewey Davis III would go through several transformations before becoming the image of cool. Change, says Szwed, was the driving force in both Davis life and music -- as quickly as he established a new direction in his music and a new identity, he would radically reinvent both. He seemed to thrive on close musical relationships -- playing with jazz greats from Charlie Parker to John Coltrane and working with Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Wayne Shorter, and composer Gil Evans, among others -- and yet the enduring image of Davis is of a lone figure, famously turning his back on the audience. He was at the peak of his career, having achieved star status, when he withdrew from the spotlight, spending years as a recluse. These seeming contradictions fueled the myths surrounding the man, but Szwed s insights into Davis personality and artistic creativity shed new light on his life, from his turbulent relationships to his drug use and mysterious last days. Elegantly written and carefully researched, So What is the authoritative life of an artist who was always ahead of his time. Nº de ref. de la librería AAV9780684859835

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Descripción Simon & Schuster. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. 496 pages. Dimensions: 8.2in. x 5.5in. x 1.3in.Musical genius, visionary artist, enigma -- more than ten years after his death, Miles Davis still looms large as a cultural icon. In this, the first new biography since Davis death, John Szwed draws on various archives and never-before-published interviews with those who knew him to produce the richest and most revealing portrait of Miles Davis to date. The shy son of a dentist from Illinois, Miles Dewey Davis III would go through several transformations before becoming the image of cool. Change, says Szwed, was the driving force in both Davis life and music -- as quickly as he established a new direction in his music and a new identity, he would radically reinvent both. He seemed to thrive on close musical relationships -- playing with jazz greats from Charlie Parker to John Coltrane and working with Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Wayne Shorter, and composer Gil Evans, among others -- and yet the enduring image of Davis is of a lone figure, famously turning his back on the audience. He was at the peak of his career, having achieved star status, when he withdrew from the spotlight, spending years as a recluse. These seeming contradictions fueled the myths surrounding the man, but Szweds insights into Davis personality and artistic creativity shed new light on his life, from his turbulent relationships to his drug use and mysterious last days. Elegantly written and carefully researched, So What is the authoritative life of an artist who was always ahead of his time. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Nº de ref. de la librería 9780684859835

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