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Miles Davis: A Critical Biography
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Miles Davis: A Critical Biography

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  354 ratings  ·  17 reviews
This revised edition of Ian Carr's biography of Miles Davis throws new light on his life and career from the early days in New York, with Charlie Parker, to his Birth of the Cool band, through his drug addiction in the early 1950s, and the years of extraordinary achievements during which he signed with Columbia, and drew to his band such unequalled talents as John Coltrane ...more
First Edition (U.K.)
Published (first published September 1st 1982)
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Brandi Bates
Loooooong and exhaustive, but taught me everything I know about the late great who started it all!
Ian Carr's MILES DAVIS: The Definitive Biography is one of the more meticulous lives of the great jazz innovator. Published first in 1982, it was thoroughly revised in 1998 to cover Miles' final years as well as shed greater light on his entire career.

A strong aspect of the book is Carr's access to various recordings which the average fan wouldn't have a chance to listen to, such as early projects in the 40s and concerts during the 1980s. Carr very thoroughly charts Miles' health problems and th
I only picked this up to check something and I've ended up practically re-reading it (albeit this is the shorter, earlier version). It's brilliant, basically. Carr can be a fussy, stuffy old bugger in places, and, for a biography the subject gets off very lightly, but he's so learned and saturated with the music you can't help but feel immersed. I can't think of another music biography that so often sends me off into obscure corners of an artist's discography, or, because of Carr's ear for detai ...more
Gregory Tkac
I learned so much about someone that I was so thirsty for information about - from his youth (and particularly his relationship with his father), to his battles with drug addiction (especially his early heroin addiction and help from his family) to his ability to always see where the music was heading and still be two steps ahead. Highly recommended for even the casual fan to get some insight into true genius.
Carr knows his music. And this helps. because he is able to deconstruct Davis's music and the phases of his life and be able to analyse when Davis began to come into his own, and how his music changed slowly as he grew up into a man. Stage by stage Carr is able to talk with the authority of a pro and the love of a Davis buff about the inner journey of Miles Davis as much as could be possible by an outsider.
Carlos Repuestodelatabla
This is a brilliant look at Miles by another trumpet player who understands very well what Miles was as musician. He also likes and understands the later, post-60s Miles work, which quite sets him apart. If you're gonna read a first book about Miles, this is a good one.
Marc Lerch, my good friend and fellow jazz enthusiast, recommended this one to me. Miles was a fascinating personality, and he was always light years ahead of everyone in the business. This book includes loads of interesting vignettes about the man and his music.
Ned Bajic
Well this pretty much all you need to know about Miles, but I would also suggest reading his autobiography and seeing the film 'the story of miles davis' as companion pieces.
Nathan Baune
Simply well done; as far as biographies go this is great,though, as far as literature goes, it is hard to compare a biography to other works, so I gave it a three.
Tim Gause
One of the great jazz biographies. A virtual history of jazz from the forties onward. The author's understanding of Miles music is extensive and brilliant.
Serge Pierro
An nice biography of Miles Davis. It was nice to read this from the viewpoint of someone other than Miles himself.
All the trials and tribulations...So anyone who reads this tell me the most used word in the autobiography...
Jeff Richards
So far, a great read. The story of the foundations of modern jazz.
this was a book club selection of a new book club I am joining
if it weren't for his music i would despise him.
Ter Amsterdam
Everything about the Man! in one book!
Mike marked it as to-read
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Ian Carr was a Scottish jazz musician, composer, writer, and educator.

Apart from writing a regular column for the BBC Music Magazine, Carr wrote biographies of the jazz musicians Keith Jarrett and Miles Davis. He was also the co-author of the reference work The Rough Guide to Jazz which has passed through four editions from 1994 (originally Jazz, The Essential Companion, 1988). In addition he cont
More about Ian Carr...
Keith Jarrett: The Man And His Music Jazz: The Rough Guide (Rough Guides) Jazz: The Essential Companion Music Outside: Contemporary Jazz in Britain William Boyd: Silver Tongue and Golden Pen

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