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Quotes about Miles Davis
Quotes by Miles Davis
I know what I've done for music, but don't call me a legend. Just call me Miles Davis.
Jazz music is as American as it gets, and so is the U.S. Postal Service. A Miles Davis stamp is a perfect marriage of two great American institutions.
Miles Davis would have this lineup of all these amazing musicians and one day would just say, 'We're done.' After tons of great records and tickets sold, he said, 'Now I'm going to grow my hair out and play my horn through a wah-wah pedal.' Rather than play it safe, he went on.
I am a leader. Leaders always get heat. They're always going against the grain. Jimi Hendrix got heat; Bob Marley got heat; Miles Davis got heat. Every great artist got heat. Heat means you're doing something right.
I grew up in the sixties watching B.B. King and Tito Puente and Miles Davis and Coltrane, everybody, Marvin Gaye, Jimi. And at the same time, with my left eye I was watching Dolores Huerta, Cesar Chavez, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Mother Teresa.
I am a leader, so leaders always get heat. They're always going against the grain. Jimi Hendrix got heat; Bob Marley got heat; Miles Davis got heat. Every great artist got heat. Heat means you're doing something right.
No one told Miles Davis or BB King to pack it in. John Lee Hooker played literally up to the day he died. Why should pop musicians be any different?
I got a chance to work with Miles Davis, and that changed everything for me, 'cause Miles really encouraged all his musicians to reach beyond what they know, go into unknown territory and explore. It's made a difference to me and the decisions that I've made over the years about how to approach a project in this music.
I never considered Miles Davis a perfectionist; I always considered him as an excellence-ist, where deviation is actually kind of cool.
Music is my only guide. I don't care if people pigeonhole me. Miles Davis is my hero. He covered Cindy Lauper and Michael Jackson, and he didn't give a hoot about what the purists said.
I remember listening to Miles Davis in the car with my dad. I had just done my Grade 5 piano exam, and I was quite cocky. I said, 'It sounds like he's played the wrong note there.' I remember the look of horror on my dad's face, and thinking, 'Wow, I have to figure out why that is not acceptable.'
When I have to compete with John Coltrane and Miles Davis and Louie Armstrong on iTunes, which I'm doing now, that's a problem. That means that jazz is not being heard by younger audiences.
Coltrane was moving out of jazz into something else. And certainly Miles Davis was doing the same thing.
People will have MP3s of every Miles Davis' record but never think of hearing any of them twice in a row - there's just too much to get through.
I used to be friends with Miles Davis. He didn't like many folks. I lived across the street from him.
I saw Al Foster with Miles Davis the other week. It was beautiful. But, the whole thing was, Al Foster played as well as everybody else, but all of them were quite brilliant under Miles Davis' direction.
I think it comes from really liking literary forms. Poetry is very beautiful, but the space on the page can be as affecting as where the text is. Like when Miles Davis doesn't play, it has a poignancy to it.
Back in the day for me was a great time in my life - I was in my 20s. Most people refer to their experiences in their twenties as being a highlight in their life. It's a period of time where you often develop your own way, your own sound, your own identity, and that happened with me, when I was with a great teacher - Miles Davis.
So much of what I create has been due to the influence of Miles Davis and Donald Byrd, and so many of those that have passed on. Their music, their legacy lives on with the rest of us because we are so highly influenced by their experience and what they have given us.
I look at people like Picasso and Da Vinci and Escher and Miles Davis, and they'll write or paint that one definitive masterpiece of maybe 50 that they have that's really trying to go outside the box, trying to do something that's tough. And then when you accomplish it, you look back and go, 'Yeeaaaah - masterpiece.'
Miles Davis was a master. In every phase of his career, he understood that this music was a tribute to the African muse.
I love music, and a lot of it. Jazz is probably on the top with guys like Miles Davis. But I even enjoy music from the '60s and '70s.
Miles Davis was doing something inherently African, something that has to do with all forms of American music, not just jazz.
Miles Davis fully embraced possibilities and delved into it. He was criticized heavily from the jazz side. He was supposed to be part of a tradition, but he didn't consider himself part of a tradition.
I got a poster from Columbia Records, and there's Miles Davis, Charlie Mingus, Ellington, Count Basie - everybody in that poster has died, I'm the only one left. And great players like Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan, it's hard to believe they're gone because we were all so close. But I believe in the future and the tradition will go on.
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
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