Miles Davis: The Definitive Biography

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Thunder's Mouth Press, 1998 - Biography & Autobiography - 658 pages
8 Reviews
Ian Carr's book is the perfect counterpoint and corrective to Miles Davis's own brilliant but vitriolic autobiography, providing a balanced portrait of one of the undisputed cultural icons of the 20th century. Carr has talked with the people who knew the man and his music best; and for this edition, updated since Davis's death, he has conducted new interviews with a number of jazz greats, including Ron Carter, Max Roach, and John Scofield.

From the early New York apprenticeship with Charlie Parker, through Davis's drug addiction of the early 1950s, to the years (1954-1960) during which he signed with Columbia and recorded masterpieces with John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Wynton Kelly, and Cannonball Adderly, Carr sheds new light on Davis's life and career. His reclusive period (1975-1980) is explored with firsthand accounts of his descent back into addiction as is his dramatic return to life and music.

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Review: Miles Davis: The Definitive Biography

User Review  - Tim Gause - Goodreads

One of the great jazz biographies. A virtual history of jazz from the forties onward. The author's understanding of Miles music is extensive and brilliant. Read full review

Review: Miles Davis: The Definitive Biography

User Review  - Aditya - Goodreads

Carr knows his music. And this helps. because he is able to deconstruct Davis's music and the phases of his life and be able to analyse when Davis began to come into his own, and how his music changed ... Read full review

About the author (1998)

Ian Carr was born in Dumfries, Scotland on April 21, 1933. He received a degree in English and a teaching certificate from King's College. While there, he began playing the trumpet. After he served in the British Army, he played with numerous jazz groups including the EmCee Five, Rendell/Carr Quintet, and Nucleus. He wrote for several jazz publications, contributed to several jazz reference books and was a consultant for television documentaries about Miles Davis and Keith Jarrett. He also wrote books including Music Outside: Contemporary Jazz in Britain; Miles Davis: A Critical Biography; and Keith Jarrett: The Man and His Music. He died from complications after pneumonia and a series of mini-strokes on February 25, 2009 at the age of 75.

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