Miles Davis - Wikipedia
Composer and theorist who provided inspiration for Miles Davis and the pianist Bill Evans and the trumpeter Art Farmer – a new freedom. Bill Evans, on piano, accompanies Tony Bennett in front of a Carnegie Hall The next year, he met Miles Davis. But the relationship worked. They were musical brothers separated by skin tone. The brief, nine-month partnership of Miles Davis and Bill Evans yielded some of the most.
But there are some good things too, and the feel of the country is one of them. He immersed himself in jazz culture, taking a variety of sideman gigs. He dabbled in third-stream projects, recording with forward-looking groups led by George Russell and Charles Mingus.
His lifestyle also took a turn away from the mainstream. Evans knew it was an audition and that if he played his cards-and the piano-right, one of the most prestigious positions in the jazz world could be his. Davis and Adderley had already spoken of the pianist-the former had heard him at Birdland and the latter had witnessed him sitting in with his brother Nat-and had agreed he was well worth a listen.
Evans was swept away in a flurry of gigs, the majority in black nightclubs like the Colony. Though Evans had begun to make a name for himself in New York circles, it was a tough and unwelcoming audience he encountered on the road.
Red Garland was a tough act to replace.
Miles Davis and Bill Evans: Miles and Bill in Black & White - JazzTimes
Jazz enthusiasts-many of whom followed band lineups as closely as sportswriters knew pro team rosters-were aghast: Who was this white guy, and where was Red? His bookish looks, white skin and quiet demeanor exacerbated the problem of ushering him into the fold. Davis-never accused of being a gracious host-watched from the wings, tossing in barbed comments when it amused him. He lacked the drama Garland had delivered and had generously supplied behind the other soloists in the band.
With mixed emotions, Evans persevered.
Bill Evans on meeting Miles
He felt intimidated, though challenged and ecstatic: I felt the group to be composed of superhumans. He was no longer the youngest member-Jimmy Cobb had been called in to replace Philly Joe Jones a month after Evans joined-but he remained the only white musician.
But the unease Evans faced in certain venues grew. The guys in the band defended me staunchly. What people who are talking that way might be saying is they want to get credit for developing the music as a tradition. I want more responsibility among black people and black musicians to be accurate and to be spiritually intelligent…to say only black people can play jazz is as dangerous as saying only white people are intelligent.
Takes one to know one goes the old schoolyard retort. By the end of the summer, Davis knew Evans well enough to recognize, and identify with, certain personality traits. Evans was fast approaching his professional limit; a decision to depart seemed imminent. Davis sensed that there was another factor propelling Evans to leave the group.
To Miles, their joint destiny remained unfulfilled. In Augustthe evidence of their final effort together, and one more compelling argument for a color-blind approach to jazz-making, was delivered: Coltrane, Adderley, Kelly with Chambers and Cobb and, establishing his own trio format and returning to chord-based explorations, Bill Evans.
History did, and continues to, look upon the nine-month Davis-Evans union through the lens of race. But then the issue of race-as Evans learned while onstage with Davis-is often fueled by what appears, and seldom by what is.
And Miles-whose penchant for self-contradiction is legendary-often approached the truth in an oblique way. Because he could say one thing today, and the opposite tomorrow for reasons that have to do with momentary response or defense mechanisms or who knows what. Over the years, he created, and continued to explore, a nuanced, texture-rich sound that became his signature, most often within an acoustic trio.
Watching as Davis introduced amplified instruments and rock rhythms into his sound, and added more and more sidemen, the pianist shook his head. Evans missed his lyrical buddy, and blamed the change on considerations of commerce. But to the trumpeter, blasphemy was the idea of remaining static stylistically.
He singled out the modal jazz he had pioneered with Evans. Just leave it off and play for me because I loved the way he played. Muted trumpet and brightly stroked piano are alone to spar, at moments halting and punchy, then playful and flowing.
It blasts apart any misperception that the two were only capable of creating sounds somber, serious and bittersweet. For Davis, the motivation to expose-and explode-stereotyped notions of race powered much of what he created. Having Bill Evans as his pianist only furthered his cause. As Davis once testified: This was drug code for a certain level of paranoia, I guess. Bill told me that when they got there with his lady friend, the first thing Miles said to him was about the woman he was with was "Who's the Jew-bitch?
Bill seemed very glad to have seen him, I gathered. Just as an aside regarding the Grammy Awards. I have the following recollection.
- Miles Davis and Bill Evans: Miles and Bill in Black & White
- Miles Davis
- Bill Evans on meeting Miles
Bill was out of town in March ofso he asked me to go in his stead. I asked Joan Wise, drummer Arnie Wise's wife to go with me. I was wearing a long, sheer, paisley-printed caftan which was cinched high above the waist, as I was just beginning to show from the pregnancy.
So, it was Joan and I and these heavyweights of jazz seated around a large circular table, waiting for the announcements and having dinner. I had never met any of these musicians before, so I only spoke to Joan who was seated next to me. The thing that sticks in my head the most is that not one musician spoke a word to anyone else, the entire evening.
Backstage at Humphrey's continued: Miles was extremely cordial and happy to see us, I thought. I was surprised that his voice was so tiny; stature diminutive and skin desiccated, taut. To me, he appeared delicate, vulnerable. Whatever the mystique about Miles was, was lost on me, a non-jazz person per se.
He liked me just as Bill said he would, whatever that meant. Bill always thought we'd be a good match. He said that on a number of occasions. After I had said one caustic thing or another, Bill would say, "You should meet Miles.
There was a large spread of colorful fruit and sandwiches on a long table near the wall.