Miles Davis

Interest in Miles Davis has never been greater and seems to increase as the years go by. This month, had he lived, would have seen his 80th year. Miles biographer George Cole investigates the possible directions Miles’ music would have taken him by talking to Jo Gelbard, Miles’ companion in the last years of his life, as well as a wide range of musicians who played with him over his final years including George Duke, Adam Holzman, Darryl Jones, Easy Mo Bee and Foley. Miles DavisIn an interview with jazz trumpeter and biographer Ian Carr, Miles Davis said: “Picasso never did stop because he aged. I want to live to be 201 – just imagine what kind of playing I would be thinking of with all these sounds in the air, synthesisers, electric drums... People usually shorten everything, compress it, because they only have one chance. I’d like to have two or three careers.” Sadly, Miles never got close to reaching half that figure and died on 28 September 1991, aged 65. But what if Miles was still alive today at 80 and in good health? What would he doing? Of course, we’ll never know, but during the last year of his life, Miles left behind some tantalising clues. Miles started his career playing bebop with Charlie Parker and ended it by playing hip-hop with rapper/producer Easy Mo Bee. We know that Miles had big plans for the album that became Doo-Bop, which included working with producer Sid Reynolds on a couple of hip-hop tracks featuring a female rapper. He was also going to record a bunch of Prince tunes, including the hit ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ but died before completing the project.

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