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Miles
Davis, born in Alton, Illinois, came from a wealthy, middle- class family. His mother
played violin and his sister played piano, so it is not surprising for Davis to
be involved with music. His father bought him his first trumpet where he
started private lessons with Elwood Buchanan, but the basics were boring Davis,
so the start of his famous improvisation was born. He progresses quickly and
joined his first group called Eddie Randall’s Blue Devils. Being recognized so
young opened Davis to many opportunities and allowed him to meet established
musicians that influenced his work. While playing with the Blue Devils, Davis
attended the Juilliard School of Music in New York, but it was apparent that he
really just wanted to play jazz. He eventually left Juilliard to play with
Charlie Parker, one of his idols, in 1945 and finally identified himself as a
jazz trumpeter.

            Miles Davis was always trying to
push boundaries in music, and focused much of his early work on the new jazz
style at the time called bebop. This style was developed in New York and is
distinguished by complex rhythms and dissonant chords within improvised solos.
Davis shaped bebop along with Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker. Davis
continued to push and after the bebop stage got boring, he moved on to another
new style of jazz called “cool” jazz. Now musicians like Kenton, Monk, and
Brubeck followed alongside him. This type of jazz is known to be very relaxed
and mellow. Many other jazz trumpeters wanted to recreate Davis’s sound since
he became the main sound for “cool” jazz.

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            Just as Louis Armstrong was for his
era, Miles Davis so different than others of his time. He changed and surpassed
the standards set for jazz trumpeters and had a major impact on the style of
music. Most of Davis’s solos were played in the middle register and his mastery
of improvising made some think that his solos were composed prior to the
performance. 

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