Miles Davis: The Sorcerer Of Jazz

Adam Shatz writes: ‘In 1975, Miles Davis put down his trumpet and retired. Davis was famous for his dramatic silences in performance: the notes he chose not to play were almost as meaningful as those he did. But this silence would last for nearly five years, during which he all but disappeared into his Upper West Side brownstone. Visitors evoked a macabre dungeon swarming with prostitutes, drug dealers, hangers-on, and corpulent roaches. Davis, who styled himself as jazz’s “Prince of Darkness,” later confirmed the

rumors with unabashed relish in his 1989 autobiography, “Miles,” written with the poet Quincy Troupe. Yet for all this decadence, there was a noble, almost monastic aura to Davis’s retirement at forty-nine, after one of the most extraordinary careers in postwar music.’

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