Miles and Me

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University of California Press, Mar 8, 2000 - Music - 189 pages
Quincy Troupe's candid account of his friendship with Miles Davis is a revealing portrait of a great musician and an intimate study of a unique relationship. It is also an engrossing chronicle of the author's own development, both artistic and personal. As Davis's collaborator on Miles: The Autobiography,Troupe--one of the major poets to emerge from the 1960s--had exceptional access to the musician. This memoir goes beyond the life portrayed in the autobiography to describe in detail the processes of Davis's spectacular creativity and the joys and difficulties his passionate, contradictory temperament posed to the men's friendship. It shows how Miles Davis, both as a black man and an artist, influenced not only Quincy Troupe but whole generations.

Troupe has written that Miles Davis was "irascible, contemptuous, brutally honest, ill-tempered when things didn't go his way, complex, fair-minded, humble, kind and a son-of-a-bitch." The author's love and appreciation for Davis make him a keen, though not uncritical, observer. He captures and conveys the power of the musician's presence, the mesmerizing force of his personality, and the restless energy that lay at the root of his creativity. He also shows Davis's lighter side: cooking, prowling the streets of Manhattan, painting, riding his horse at his Malibu home. Troupe discusses Davis's musical output, situating his albums in the context of the times--both political and musical--out of which they emerged. Miles and Me is an unparalleled look at the act of creation and the forces behind it, at how the innovations of one person can inspire both those he knows and loves and the world at large.

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User Review  - jpfahs - LibraryThing

bummer distillation of left over material which central involvement is -- all about this writer, who comes across as maybe a bit of a self-involved underachiever. B- overall. I'm guessing this guy wrote a really good book on mr. davis though so i'm looking forward to reading that someday. Read full review

Miles and me

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Miles Davis's open-mindedness toward innovation (musically and personally) set an example that inspired many of his listeners. He made young blacks in particular feel special and free; and some, like ... Read full review

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About the author (2000)

Quincy Troupe is Professor of Literature at the University of California, San Diego, and author of thirteen books. Two of his books, Miles: The Autobiography (1989) and Snake-Back Solos (1979), have won the American Book Award. He also wrote James Baldwin: The Legacy (1989), Avalanche (1996), Choruses (1999), and Take it to the Hoop Magic Johnson (2000). In 2002, he was named Poet Laureate of the State of California by the California Arts Council.

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