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Milestones: The Music And Times Of Miles Davis

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This invaluable biography of trumpeter and jazz-bebop-fusion innovator Miles Davis (1926–1991) includes a substantial new introduction that for the first time details Davis’s turbulent last decade; the drawing and painting that became an additional creative outlet; the musical lows of his final “Freaky Deaky” years; the family warfare that has erupted over his last will an This invaluable biography of trumpeter and jazz-bebop-fusion innovator Miles Davis (1926–1991) includes a substantial new introduction that for the first time details Davis’s turbulent last decade; the drawing and painting that became an additional creative outlet; the musical lows of his final “Freaky Deaky” years; the family warfare that has erupted over his last will and testament; and—in a long-awaited exposé—the truth behind Davis’s so-called Autobiography, the book that “borrowed” gigantic portions from Milestones and passed them off as Davis’s. Jack Chambers breaks his silence to discuss the extent of the “borrowing” and who was responsible. Here is the last word on the music and controversial life of Miles Davis.


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This invaluable biography of trumpeter and jazz-bebop-fusion innovator Miles Davis (1926–1991) includes a substantial new introduction that for the first time details Davis’s turbulent last decade; the drawing and painting that became an additional creative outlet; the musical lows of his final “Freaky Deaky” years; the family warfare that has erupted over his last will an This invaluable biography of trumpeter and jazz-bebop-fusion innovator Miles Davis (1926–1991) includes a substantial new introduction that for the first time details Davis’s turbulent last decade; the drawing and painting that became an additional creative outlet; the musical lows of his final “Freaky Deaky” years; the family warfare that has erupted over his last will and testament; and—in a long-awaited exposé—the truth behind Davis’s so-called Autobiography, the book that “borrowed” gigantic portions from Milestones and passed them off as Davis’s. Jack Chambers breaks his silence to discuss the extent of the “borrowing” and who was responsible. Here is the last word on the music and controversial life of Miles Davis.

30 review for Milestones: The Music And Times Of Miles Davis

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tom Hammer

    I find that most biographies of musical greats tend to be obsequious love odes devoid of a true picture...not as bad as the self-serving bios, for the most part, but approaching that shade. Chambers' work on the great Miles Davis isn't one of those. This is a biography, not a review of his musical work, not a critique of his discography or concerts, but an honest history of Miles Davis' life. If you want to know about the booze and heroin soaked bebop years in mid-town Manhattan or the "freaky-de I find that most biographies of musical greats tend to be obsequious love odes devoid of a true picture...not as bad as the self-serving bios, for the most part, but approaching that shade. Chambers' work on the great Miles Davis isn't one of those. This is a biography, not a review of his musical work, not a critique of his discography or concerts, but an honest history of Miles Davis' life. If you want to know about the booze and heroin soaked bebop years in mid-town Manhattan or the "freaky-deaky" years that were his last decade, here's the story. Don't get me wrong: I LOVE Miles and delighted in his masterwork and take no delight in the gory details that comprise his rough background. But I was glad to get the real story and Chambers works hard to not only document the story but reach behind the "borrowing" of ideas and other aspects of Miles' music that is both storied and revered.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sean

    Ultimately, this book kind of pissed me off. It's certainly thorough, so there's that. But the writing is really dull. Chambers goes into excessive detail of every recording session ever, yet never manages to capture who Davis WAS. It's a lot of facts, and in many cases those facts are interesting, but you need more to make a compelling story. You need a PERSON at the center, and Miles never quite shows up in this book. Another major problem is the way Chambers, though he tries hard to write in a Ultimately, this book kind of pissed me off. It's certainly thorough, so there's that. But the writing is really dull. Chambers goes into excessive detail of every recording session ever, yet never manages to capture who Davis WAS. It's a lot of facts, and in many cases those facts are interesting, but you need more to make a compelling story. You need a PERSON at the center, and Miles never quite shows up in this book. Another major problem is the way Chambers, though he tries hard to write in a flat, objective style, trashes the music he doesn't personally like. So Miles's output from '72 to '75 is described "objectively," yet Chambers makes sure we know how worthless it all was. Which is the standard opinion of the times among the jazz mafia, of whom Chambers is obviously one. That is, people who "know" what "jazz" is, and who were somehow deeply wounded by Miles playing something else in the '70s. These people are all the same and it's tiresome to hear their idiot opinions over and over again. "He sold out!" they say of the insane, unique, wild music that didn't sell, and that critics despised. I think they're a bit unclear on the concept. Maybe they just couldn't help themselves. The book was written in '83, and it wasn't until the '90s that Miles's '70s music was finally seen for what it is: fucking genius. Like he traveled to the future and brought back the electronic sounds of the '90s and '00s and recreated it with musicians in the '70s. So, yeah. The book was informative enough to keep me going, but to hell with Chambers and his jazz elitism. Music is music, and Miles was a genius.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Noah

    This exhaustive text is the definitive overview of Davis's music and his relationship to other musicians. It is an invaluable companion to the music itself. As a standard biography, however, it fails miserably, probably because the author had no intention of reviewing the basic biographical details of Davis's life. The book's subtitle is apt: it is about the "music" and the "times" but not really the "life" per se. If you want a biography, look elsewhere. If you want a thoughtful, sensitive sens This exhaustive text is the definitive overview of Davis's music and his relationship to other musicians. It is an invaluable companion to the music itself. As a standard biography, however, it fails miserably, probably because the author had no intention of reviewing the basic biographical details of Davis's life. The book's subtitle is apt: it is about the "music" and the "times" but not really the "life" per se. If you want a biography, look elsewhere. If you want a thoughtful, sensitive sense of Davis's music evolution (and devolution), this is the one book you need.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Carlos Repuestodelatabla

    Milestones I & II is the first bio I read of Miles, and I liked it a lot. It was detailed, accurate, exhaustive. It was more about his life than his music ( see Ian Carr's for more concentration on the music) but it was thorough and well written, easy to read. Milestones I & II is the first bio I read of Miles, and I liked it a lot. It was detailed, accurate, exhaustive. It was more about his life than his music ( see Ian Carr's for more concentration on the music) but it was thorough and well written, easy to read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Craig Bryson

    Comprehensive overview of the life and music of Miles Dewey Davis. Miles complained about people who were not there thinking they knew, but that doesn't stop this work from being totally engrossing- a nerds delight. Comprehensive overview of the life and music of Miles Dewey Davis. Miles complained about people who were not there thinking they knew, but that doesn't stop this work from being totally engrossing- a nerds delight.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Philly Aesthete Brown

    Flawed, but deeply engaging bio that deals substantively with Miles' creative output. Flawed, but deeply engaging bio that deals substantively with Miles' creative output.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    Chambers does a very thorough job of detailing Miles' career and making it feel present and real. I highly recommend this book to any fan of Miles Davis. Chambers does a very thorough job of detailing Miles' career and making it feel present and real. I highly recommend this book to any fan of Miles Davis.

  8. 5 out of 5

    lucas

    this was a great biography.

  9. 4 out of 5

    A

  10. 4 out of 5

    Chris Clelland

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ramon

  12. 5 out of 5

    Craig Cunningham

  13. 5 out of 5

    Michael Lucke

  14. 5 out of 5

    Terrance

  15. 5 out of 5

    George Jr.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan

  17. 4 out of 5

    Davey Schreurs

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tony Nielsen

  19. 4 out of 5

    Abe Snyder

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Dodge

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Davis

  23. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Brown

  24. 4 out of 5

    Walther Jensen

  25. 5 out of 5

    Edward Motter-vlahakos

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mark A Logan

  27. 5 out of 5

    Bobby

  28. 4 out of 5

    Dana

  29. 5 out of 5

    Craig

  30. 5 out of 5

    Alex Wise

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