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Monday, September 16, 2013

Miles Davis

"My future starts when I wake up every morning.  Every day I find something creative to do with my life."

— Miles Davis
American Musician
1926 - 1991

How do you wake up every morning?  Are the creative juices flowing?  The life of the creative leader is about creating — about finding new ways of seeing the world.  About living the creative life.

The creative life is an attitude — a way of embracing the world.  Are you open to the possibilities?  The new beginnings?  Or have you closed your mind and heart and see only a narrow path before you?  Miles Davis, the musician, was always changing, exploring the music, finding new pathways, seeing new possibilities.  Whenever he felt himself growing stagnant, he would change directions, take a new path.  As a jazz musician, he improvised, played off of his fellow musicians, and changed the notes.

Are you living the creative life?  Or are you stagnant?  Do you hide behind what you created?  Or are you growing?  Improvising?  Exploring alternative paths?  Are you open new ideas?  

Creative Practice
Try something new this week — a new painting technique, a new form of poetry, a different style of music.  Do something you have never done — work with clay, write a song, learn to dance.  Wake up the creativity inside.  Develop a creative attitude.

Miles Davis was born in Alton, Illinois to Miles Henry Davis and Cleota May Davis.  His father was a dentist and moved the family to East St. Louis in 1927.  Miles thought of going to medical school, but his love of music was too strong.  His father gave him a trumpet at the age of thirteen and paid for music lessons.  By sixteen, Miles was playing professionally when not in school.  At seventeen, he spent a year playing in the Blue Devils, Eddie Randle's band.  In 1944, the Billy Eckstine band, which included Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, visited East St. Louis.  Miles had an opportunity to play with the band for a couple of weeks because the regular trumpet player was sick.

In the fall of 1944, Davis moved to New York to study at Juilliard School of Music.  He eventually dropped out to play music full time.  In 1945, when Dizzy Gillespie left Charlie Parker's band, Miles was hired to replace him.  He recorded and traveled with the band.  During these years Miles played as well as recorded with various bands.

In 1955, Davis had an operation to remove polyps on his larynx.  He damaged his vocal tones and consequently, he had a raspy voice the remainder of his life.

Davis recorded 48 studio albums and 36 live albums during his life.

Spend some time listening to a discussion of the Miles Davis Kind of Blue Album, created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the production of the album.  Then listen to the album itself.