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10232Re: miles davis bio

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  • Chuck Marcus
    Dec 5, 2000
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      Last year I read through a number of MD bios and here's a brief outline:

      The autobiography is indeed a great read, up there with Mingus's "Beneath
      the Underdog" -- a highly subjective book which will give you a chance to
      experience the many meanings of the work "motherfucker".

      The Jack Chambers book is one of those incredibly detailed, session by
      session type jazz books that is full of information.

      Two collections of articles --

      **The Miles Davis companion : four decades of commentary / edited by Gary

      **A Miles Davis reader / edited by Bill Kirchner.

      are absolutely essential. The Kichner book contains a number of invisible
      jukebox type interviews over the years with Leonard Feather at Downbeat.
      They are an incredible read, just amazing. Early interviews, MD is very
      complimentary of his fellow musicians. Later interviews, MD goes off on
      Dolphy, Ornette and Sun Ra in no uncertain terms.

      The Krichner book also contains a brilliant analysis by Harvey Pekar of
      1964-69 recordings.

      The Carner book contains Stanley Crouch's scathing article on MD's
      big sellout in the 80's. Many critiques of the autobio as well.

      ** 'Round about midnight : a portrait of Miles
      Davis / by Eric Nisenson.

      This one is my favorite bio (aside from the autobio). A revisionist sort
      of history written by a jazz writer who got his access to Miles in the
      '70s by being his coke mule while MD was holed up in is Upper West Side
      house. Kind of the inside scoop.

      ** Miles Davis : the definitive biography / Ian Carr. In-depth discussion
      on his recordings.

      ** Miles Davis: a musical biography / Bill Cole. Mostly academic, includes
      solo transcriptions, recording sessions, bibliography.


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