Ed Driscoll

The Duality of Miles Davis

I’m doing a review of Miles Electric, which is a new DVD highlighting Miles Davis’ jazz/rock fusion performance at England’s Isle of Wight, a Woodstock-style festival that held a half-million people.

Needless to say, I’ll let you know when it’s online. But while I was polishing the piece and inserting hyperlinks last night, I came across this quote in Wikipedia:

In 1987 Davis attended a reception in honor of Ray Charles at Ronald Reagan’s White House. A Washington society lady, seated next to him, asked him what he had done to be invited. “Well,” Davis replied, “I’ve changed music four or five times. What have you done of any importance other than be white?”

I tend to forget that while Miles was a staggeringly talented artist, that talent was wrapped up with an awful, misogynist streak.