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Miles Davis

Icons of the Century

The play on his first name said it all in terms of his scope as a musician. Miles Davis loomed as the Picasso of modern jazz.

Schooled at Juilliard, mentored by Charlie Parker and the most influential band leader of the ’50s and ’60s, Davis embodied all the ideals that made Picasso immortal: a recognition that one must learn from the masters before tearing them down, a restless artistic spirit that never allowed him to rest on his laurels, a militant political sensibility that he expressed through his trumpet and an impeccable sense of style.

From the “Birth of the Cool” to the modal musings of “Kind of Blue” to the “third-stream” collaborations with Gil Evans to the heady fusion of “Bitches Brew,” Davis was a trailblazer.

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