Monday, May 26, 2014

On Miles Davis

Miles Dewey Davis was born on this day eighty-eight years ago. This musical genius excellent at playing his trumpet, composing, and leading various bands with members such as John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, John McLaughlin, and Wayne Shorter. No one could play the horn with such sweetness--and such fire. Miles's work on mute is without peer as well. He brought out the best in nearly all the musicians in his bands. A book of his paintings was recently released as well.

Sadly, Miles the man was another story. He was famously moody, fathered several children out of wedlock, was foul mouthed, beat at least one of his three wives, and was for long periods addicted to drugs.

I suggest that you listen to some Miles Davis today or tomorrow. The classic is "Kind of Blue," but his early fusion was remarkable as well. Consider "In a Silent Way" and "Bitches Brew."

Davis illustrated the Pascalian principle of "deposed royalty." He was a prince of a musician, but a pauper in his moral life. There is no evidence that he sought the grace of God in Christ for his redemption. Nevertheless, we can receive much of his music as gifts from the Giver of every good and perfect gift. 

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