He was no doubt the most prolific, the most revolutionary and the most individual musician in jazz. He was the figure behind at least three jazz revolutions: in 1949/1950 he recorded The Birth of the Cool, a turning-point in jazz history that introduced the new jazz played in downtown clubs, just when ballroom jazz went into decline; in 1959 Miles recorded Kind of Blue, the music's genuine entrance into the modern world, and it became the best-selling jazz album for decades to come, because it sounded avant-garde at the time and still sounds like contemporary jazz today; and then in 1969 he recorded Bitches Brew, a synthesis of music that was rock, funk and jazz all at once, and which has often been named fusion, because Miles was the first to succeed in synthesizing all forms of music as a work of art that was masterly and essential. It remains one of the ten masterpieces of the 20th century. The Essential Works of Miles Davis brings to light the path that led from The Birth of the Cool to Kind of Blue, in other words, a decade of modernity whose advancement can be followed on every one of these four sides.
The history of music shows us that different kinds and forms follow each other. And that the latest trend overshadows the one that came before it. Today it's difficult to say exactly which trend dominates, as there are so many music currents that overlap and intersect. Mainstream exists no longer. Yet one thing is certain: each music form is built on the music that precedes it. There would be no jazz without classical music, no rock without blues, no rock without jazz, no rap without soul music, no sampling without the riffs of either soul or rock… and therefore, inside each genre you find different chapters in the history of music. And that is why it is so important to understand their origins: they shed the light that is necessary for an understanding of the music born every day.
The richness of jazz lies at the origin of so much music today that it is essential to discover this creative wealth. The Essential Works of Masters of Jazz bring to light those 20th century creations that still exert an influence on the majority of musicians today — whether they are aware of it or not.
The Essential Works of Masters of Jazz gather the fundamental creations of the music of today.