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in 1959, he was the coolest guy in the world.

June 20, 2014

In his later years, Miles Davis became quite strange. As far as I can tell, he co-invented jazz fusion, and then co-invented smooth jazz (more commonly known doctor’s office music). I can appreciate a bit of fusion, and even less of smooth jazz.

Davis got weirder and weirder as time went on. As he went bald he started growing what hair he had rather long, and took to wearing outlandish clothes, so as to appeal to fans of Sly and the Family Stone and other bands. Eventually, he looked like a threadbare and aged Muppet, but deep down, he was still Miles, still cool.

Back in 1959, Miles, in my opinion, had reached his peak. His album, “Kind of Blue,” was released that year. It is the best-selling jazz album of all time. If you are not at all into jazz, because you think you’d find it too inaccessible, start with “Kind of Blue.”

In this video, you will find Miles Davis at his best, backed by some of the finest musicians in the history of jazz, playing the first track from “Kind of Blue,” which is called “So What.”

Yes, in 1959, when this film clip was made, Miles Davis truly was the coolest guy in the world.

 

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