Miles and More

To be quite honest, I´ve never liked the autumn. Sure, it´s pretty and everything, but there´s something really gloomy about it. Spring is like 6 months away.

Well, there´s not much we can do about that.

However, autumn is a very good time to read books. This is what I´ve been reading lately:


Miles Davis needs no further introduction. He is a rare genius and quite possibly the coolest guy who ever lived. In this autobiography, Miles tells the story of his life and musical career – all the way from his childhood days in St. Louis. His musical journey starts in the bebop era during and after WWII, when he came to New York as a teenager and played with people like Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonius Monk.

Miles had the rare ability to continually renew and reinvent himself as a musician, and he always managed to be the hippest cat around. The Birth of the Cool-sessions, his two legendary quintets, Sketches of Spain, Kind of Blue, the jazz/rock era, In a Silent way, Bitches Brew, his relationship to Jimi Hendrix – it´s all there. And much, much more.

His story is also the story of black people in post-war America and the gradual acceptance of black music and musicians. And it´s also the story of drugs – and lots of them, too. But mostly, the book tells about what it means to be a musician in a band: the friendship, the conflicts, the road, the studio, the criticism, the self critique, the hard times and the good times. This book is interesting in so many ways. Highly recommended!


Joona / Jazz & Fly Fishing

This was a very important book for me when I was a teenager, learning about jazz and all the heroes out there. Just a word of warning: read it in English instead of a translation. At least the Finnish translation has so funny expressions that it’s hard to believe Miles would have used such language. So stick to the original!


Sorry to oppose you, Joona, but a Finn should read it in Finnish unless he is very good in English. It may have funny expressions, but most of it is well translated. And it gives a good idea about the most influental person of modern jazz. MD certainly was hip, even hop, for he was way ahead of his time.
I got great pictures of him from Pori Jazz in 1985, though he didn’t play very well.
Friends, let us take some time to listen Sketches of Spain.

Joona / Jazz & Fly Fishing

Hi Ari!
Sure thing – it’s better to read this great book in Finnish (or whatever language) than to not read it at all. What thrilled me with the English text was that it was all Miles words, you could almost hear his rasping voice in the pages.

It would be great to see the photos you have of him! Let us know if you want to share them with the Jazz & Fly Fishing readers. Cheers!


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