The Miles Davis Reader
is proof that a magazine can have a love affair with a musician.
Miles Dewey Davis was one of the magazine's most cherished subjects. DownBeat has covered the jazz scene for more than 70 years, and no other artist has been more diligently chronicled in the magazine's pages than Davis. That coverage starts with reviews of him as a sideman with Charlie Parker in 1946. It includes his last, heroic concert, where he revisited the music of Gil Evans at Montreux Jazz Festival in 1991. And it continues today, more than 15 years after his death.
This DownBeat reader lovingly compiles, for the first time, the magazine's exhaustive Miles editorial files. It contains more than 200 news stories, feature articles and concert and album reviews by some of the most legendary names in jazz journalism.
The final product can best be described as a series of snapshots of an artist at work. While there are many biographies that attempt to put the life, times and art of Davis into a greater context, The Miles Davis Reader delivers a linear patchwork of his words and music--as they happened.
In other words, don't expect the great trumpeter's life to be tied up with a neat little bow. Instead, enjoy a year-by-year ride through the many phases of Miles Davis as he develops from a confident young trumpet player out of East St. Louis into a larger-than-life jazz icon.