Black Music Month: Happy birthday Miles Davis

UNDATED (AP) — On this date in 1926, jazz trumpeter Miles Davis was born in Alton, Illinois. In the more than 45 years after his breakthrough with the Billy Eckstine Orchestra in 1944, Davis caused a number of radical changes in jazz. For instance, his recordings made at the close of the 1940s under the title “Birth of the Cool” set the pattern for jazz on the West Coast for the next decade. Davis’ quintet, with John Coltrane on tenor sax, did its first gig in 1955, and laid the groundwork for countless jazz combos that followed.

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In 1968, Davis began the process that eventually brought him to a fusion of jazz and rock in the 1970 album “Bitches Brew.” After a 1972 car wreck, Davis became a recluse for some years but re-emerged in 1981 with a new album and concert appearances. Miles Davis died of pneumonia, respiratory failure and a stroke on September 28, 1991.