This book about Miles Davis is more psychologically driven than a straight biography; but it does cover his musical career, as well his spirituality as a jazz musician. Davis rocketed to jazz fame as a trumpeter, making a plethora of jazz recordings during his life time; and his music kept the “jazz world” on edge for almost fifty years. This book also discusses Davis’s religion, politics, civil rights activism, and his personal struggles as a Black man in the United States.
Miles Davis and Jazz as Religion: The Politics of Social Music also shows how Miles Davis made a political statement, as he challenged racial stereotypes in jazz or “social music.” Artistically, Davis was able to integrate rock, jazz, classical music, rap and blues, in his music, as he had a passion for changing his “social music.” In this regard, Miles Davis’s music was important to him intellectually, spiritually, and psychologically, because he wanted to make his musical contributions count.
Earnest N. Bracey is a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel and Professor of Political Science and Black American History at the College of Southern Nevada.
Chapter 1: The Evolution of Miles Davis’s Social Music
Chapter 2: The Start: Of Youth and Old Music Men
Chapter 3: Band Members: Turning Ideas into Music
Chapter 4: The Art of Stage Presence
Chapter 5: Of Missed Notes and Technique
Chapter 6: The Man and his Horn
Chapter 7: Of Spanish Music, Cool Jazz and Style
Chapter 8: Of Politics and Civil Rights
Chapter 9: The Meaning of His Blues
Chapter 10: Europe or Bust: Concerts and Touring
Chapter 11: In Love with Paris
Chapter 12: The Twilight of Avant-Garde
Chapter 13: Fusion: The Heart of the Matter
Chapter 14: Drugs and Retirement
Chapter 15: The Catalytic Return
Chapter 16: Transformations
Chapter 17: The New Music
Chapter 18: Of Critics and Jazz Purists
Chapter 19: Montreux and Death
Chapter 20: After an Ending
Chapter 21: In a Quiet Way