Magazine January 24, 2022, Issue

Miles Davis, Someday and Always

American trumpeter and composer Miles Davis (1926-1991) performed live on stage at the Newport Jazz Festival at Newport, R.I., July 5, 1969. (David Redfern/Redferns/Getty Images)

Miles Davis was born in Alton, Ill., on May 26, 1926. A year later, a tornado hit nearby St. Louis. In his autobiography, co-authored with Quincy Troupe, Davis ponders: “Maybe that’s why I have such a bad temper sometimes; that tornado left some of its violent creativity in me. Maybe it left some of its strong winds. You know, you need strong winds to play the trumpet.”

From the late 1940s until his death in 1991 (minus a four-year hiatus in the late 1970s), Davis tore through the musical landscape like, yes, a tornado. He was at the forefront of bebop,

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Spencer Case — Mr. Case is a writer, podcaster, and philosophy lecturer currently living in Wuhan, China, with his wife.

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