June 22, 1990 |
Miles Davis performed a spellbinding show Wednesday night at the Academy of Music, another in this year's series of Mellon Jazz events. Even when not playing his trumpet, Davis paced the stage like a man with something on his mind, occasionally striking a chord on one of the electric keyboards stacked in front of his drummer, Ricky Wellman. Frequently, Davis beckoned saxophonist Kenny Garrett or guitarist Foley to join him out front, blowing his trumpet like a pitchpipe into the face of the chosen sideman.
June 21, 1986 |
Last night it was possible to see Miles Davis in two different mediums. On television, he appeared in a rerun episode of Miami Vice as a suavely attired, tight-lipped pimp. And on the stage of the Academy of Music, he appeared as a suavely attired, tight-lipped jazz trumpeter. The Miami Vice appearance was a lark; jazz is where Davis' presence continues to be felt. Some fans, however, would say that much of Davis' recent jazz has been a lark as well - that his two most recent albums, Decoy and You're Under Arrest, were efforts of decidedly mixed quality.
October 17, 1986 |
Miles Davis is viewed initially as we remember him from the late 1950s - decked in a severely tailored "Ivy League" suit (an avant-garde fashion statement of the time), leaning slightly forward in the attitude of an inverted question mark, butting his muted trumpet flat against the business end of a microphone and playing the horn in the saturnine, yearning, gently sparring style that had made him the rage of the jazz world on five continents. We next see him some three decades later in his current modal embodiment, that of an Old Testament prophet inexplicably incarnate in a visitor from a strange planet wearing billowing pajamas of a mottled silver lame fabric overlaid by a flowing deep-blue kimono and blue plastic shades, and voicing messages from the ionosphere via the electrified trumpet he presses to his lips.
April 2, 1999 |
In December 1997, avant-blues diva Cassandra Wilson stepped onto the stage of Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall in New York to debut Travelling Miles, her tribute to the music and spectacle of jazz composer Miles Davis. With her large ensemble and smoky, winding voice intact (as always a gentle, sexy blend of Sarah Vaughan and Betty Carter), Wilson swept through all phases of Davis' work. Bebop. Early fusion. The infamous '60s quintet. His latter-day pop sounds. Rather than copy Miles, Wilson peeked into his shadows, basked in the glow of his darkness, and remembered the feeling, the noir atmospherics, Miles' run-down voodoo.
November 17, 1995 |
Wallace Roney wants it known that he's not out to replace Miles Davis. But there's hardly any doubt that the late trumpeter was a major influence on the young musician. Roney even has a couple of Davis' horns, which, needless to say, he will always treasure. "Oh, sure, I play them," said Roney, who did most of his growing up in North Philadelphia. "Not so much in public, though. But I'll occasionally sneak one in during a performance. " Roney, who said he tours "perpetually," returned Monday from a two-week concert tour of Japan as a member of Ray Brown's All-Star Jam and will appear with his own group Sunday at Zanzibar Blue.
November 1, 1991 |
If there was ever a musician deserving of a tribute, it's Miles Davis. Tony Williams, who played with Davis in his '60s fusion-rock era, comes to Philadelphia drumming the praises of one of the century's greatest, and most controversial, musical geniuses. Williams' quintet, which in its current edition brings in Mulgrew Miller on piano and Philadelphia-born Wallace Roney on trumpet, will play a set of Davis compositions Monday night at the Aztec Club near Penn's Landing. The concert will also begin a series of Monday jazz nights there.
September 29, 1991 |
Miles Davis, 65, the jazz composer, bandleader and trumpeter responsible for much of the music's stylistic evolution since the 1940s, died yesterday. Mr. Davis, who was known for his direct tone and searching, imploring melodies, died at 10:46 a.m. at St. John's Hospital and Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif., after a month-long hospital stay. His doctor, Jeff Harris, said the cause of death was pneumonia, respiratory failure and stroke. The ailments were the latest in a series of health problems that included heroin and cocaine addictions.
August 18, 1995 |
John Alberti had the blues for a long time as a teenager. Then when he was 17 - maybe it was 18 - his father gave him a Miles Davis album, and that changed everything. The young drummer, who began playing with a blues band that worked Main Line nightspots when he was 15, was so taken by the Davis disc that he began practicing a jazz-drumming technique. It was quite a departure from blues and rock percussion. "I kept practicing while working in Top 40 bands and such to make a living," he said.
May 15, 1987 |
Say what you will about Miles Davis' recent funk albums - and I'll say worse. Yet in concert, Davis remains an electrifying presence. Why? Because whatever Davis is playing now, good or bad, other musicians will be playing six months from now. It has long been that way. Tonight, the charismatic trumpeter performs at the Valley Forge Music Fair, off Route 252 in Devon, with singer Beverly Mickins. Show time is 8 p.m., and tickets cost $20. For more information, call 644-5000. In any week Davis is in town, the best bet is a foregone conclusion.
May 5, 1992 |
Jazz great Miles Davis was an "active drug abuser" and "not of sound mind and memory" when he wrote his will in 1989, according to his son, Gregory Davis, who is contesting the will. Gregory was left no part of the $1 million estate. His father said in his autobiography that Gregory had caused him "all kinds of grief. " Also: "I know he loved me and really wanted to be like me. He used to try to play trumpet, but he played it so bad, it was just terrible to listen. I would scream at him to stop.