Miles Davis Research Paper

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Miles Davis, raised in Illinois, was a very natural musician who had a drive-a leadership and motivation that always had a thirst for new ideas. He grew a real need to change the definition of Jazz, to modernize its sound, finding and exploring new ways of Jazz music. He had an aura and musicality that attracted many younger people and younger musicians. [Lyons. 2015. University of Ulster] Davis grew a powerful, melodic and expressive style. He developed his own method of playing such as the use of harmon mute-later becoming his signature style. During the Cool Jazz era, Davis performed a piece called Jeru (1949) the sophisticated arrangement had a more moderate tempo, more groove and a more ‘cool sound’ There was less agitation compared to…show more content…
If music were to stay the same, have all the same elements, same time signatures and the same harmonies, how is music going to evolve? The most astonishing this about Davis was how he made little attempts to imitate Pop and Rock music as almost every track lasts over ten minutes; an example being Pharaoh’s Dance, which lasts slightly over twenty minutes. These long tracks would make these pieces radio unfriendly-therefore this would guarantee that Davis would receive less radio airplay. [Gioa. The History of Jazz. 2011. P326] His pieces avoided the commercialism of Rock and Pop music as they lacked melodic hooks, the simple dance beats and memorable lyrics, these are all common traits of Rock and Pop music. The so-called “commercial” music of Bitches Brew was raw, discursive, chaotic and free of structure. [Gioa. The History of Jazz. 2011. P326] Another argument for Miles Davis not being a sellout would be the lack of vocalists on his tracks for Bitches Brew, Rock and contemporary music that sold a lot of records during that time and receive a lot of airplay would have featured vocalists. Adding to that, if Davis truly wanted to be commercial, he would have abandoned all primary elements of Jazz such as the improvisations and the intricate harmonies altogether and strive for pure Rock music instead or he would have recorded instrumental covers of Rock songs during that time. Davis would however, record covers of pop artists such as Cyndi Lauper later on in his career. [] In spite of this, I feel that Davis simply wanted to explore a new sound and move in a new direction to try and create a new definition of Jazz through Jazz fusion.

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