Monday, May 30, 2016

Miles on Monday: Tribute album released, 90th birthday remembrances, and more

This week in Miles Davis news:

* Last Thursday, May 26 marked 90 years since the birth of Miles Davis, and, as you'd expect, there were all sorts of  tributes and remembrances in various media.

One of the most-linked new items to appear online was "The Universe of Miles Davis," an "interactive infographic" (pictured) created by the website Polygraph that illustrates the trumpeter's career via data drawn from the 2,452 Wikipedia pages on which he's mentioned.

Also new last week, All Music Television released the trailer from their upcoming special documenting a recent Davis tribute staged in Los Angeles by keyboardist Robert Glasper and multi-instrumentalist Terrace Martin; the BBC aired a radio special about Davis' visual art; and the UK magazine Uncut ran an interview with Prince's former saxophonist Eric Leeds titled, "Revealed! The truth about what really happened when Prince jammed with Miles Davis."

In a more retrospective mode, the New York Daily News reprinted a 1968 feature story about Davis under the headline "Miles Davis, jazz legend, was an enigmatic public figure"; and journalist Willard Jenkins published his account of interviewing the trumpeter in 1974.

Many other tributes took familiar forms, like the overview of Davis' career published by Live For Live Music,'s clickbaitish "10 Kind of Blue Facts About Miles Davis," and International Business Times' collection of Davis quotes and key tracks.

In a couple of more interesting examples, the London venue The Barbican Centre "asked some of our favourite artists and our Contemporary Music team – to share their favourite Miles Davis songs," while the website of the hip-hop magazine The Source featured 10 tracks that sample Davis' music.

* Davis's birthday also was the official release date for Everything's Beautiful, pianist Robert Glasper's remix/tribute album inspired by the film Miles Ahead, and the publicity machine was cranking full force, with
Glasper being interviewed about the album by the New York Times, NBC, Essence, and the Los Angeles Times.

You can read Pitchfork's review of Everything's Beautiful here, and hear a Spotify stream of the album here.

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