ICONS ARE BETTER #54: MILES DAVIS
Jazz is more than music, and Miles Davis was more than a musician.
Arguably the greatest influence of the century on the most creative space in music, the legendary trumpeter and band leader epitomized the improvisational spirit of the genre and imbued it with its enduring cool.
Forever famous for Kind of Blue, Miles could have settled in and reproduced that sound like so many artists do. But that was not Miles. Instead, he darted from influence to influence, listened, as he liked to say, to the world around him, and constantly shape-shifted into something new. Truth be told, many of these new forms I never liked as much as the early stuff, but that’s missing the point. What makes him an icon goes way beyond his music because he embodied something much bigger than the music. He epitomized creativity in its purest form – restless, fearless, and even perhaps reckless. In his own words, “If you are not making a mistake, it’s a mistake”.
It’s that perspective on life that made Miles Davis truly iconic.
Jamie Shuttleworth CSO mcgarrybowen Chicago.