Miles Davis


As we celebrate the legacy of jazz pianist Bill Evans, you might be surprised to know that some cool cats named Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, Igor Stravinsky, Arnold Schoenberg, and especially—Johann Sebastian Bach—helped shape his sound.

Credit: William P. Gottlieb

A romantic ballad launched one career, revived another, and became a beloved standard for generations of musicians. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on Thelonious Monk's " ‘Round Midnight." The work was recorded first in 1944—but not by Monk.


Keyon Harrold; credit: Deneka Peniston

The virtuosity of the legendary Miles Davis speaks through another trumpeter who follows him in tune and time. WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston talks with the musician behind the sound in the 2016 biopic, Miles Ahead, which won a 2017 Grammy Award.

The Fred Hersch Trio brings a seductive and crafty intelligence to its version of "We See," the Thelonious Monk tune. Articulating its melody at the piano, Hersch slips in a few leisurely pauses, which slow down and stretch out the form. Then, in the bridge, he ratchets up to twice the speed, evoking the frenetic whir of the factory machinery in Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times.

WRTI's Essential Jazz Artist No. 1: Miles Davis

Feb 10, 2017

Miles Ahead is the name of an album and a film, and might as well be the name of the WRTI Most Essential Jazz Artist list, since you voted Miles Davis your No. 1.

Everybody has one or two favorite jazz standards, knowing them best as vocals, instrumentals, or even as big band arrangements. So, all Memorial Day Weekend, WRTI will explore the great renditions of jazz standards. Celebrate the unofficial start of summer by doing a "Double Take" with WRTI. At the top and bottom of every hour we'll play both an instrumental and a vocal version of a well-known standard. 

Join us this Sunday, April 24th at 9 pm for a special program that examines the making of the motion picture, Miles Ahead.

This hour-long show delves into how the director and star of Miles Ahead, Don Cheadle, uses unlikely circumstances, like car chases and gunfights, to create a portrait of the legendary musical genius, Miles Davis. 

Born To Be Blue: Chet Baker In 5 Songs

Mar 25, 2016

It’s that sound...that unmistakable straight, round sound. But even though Miles Davis has a unique voice, that isn’t the only reason he’s one of the giants in the history of jazz.

Swing turned into bebop, and while the energy was exciting, the furious notes and harmonies threatened to turn jazz into a mere showcase for virtuosos. The music was starting to be overwhelmed. So were audiences.

Miles Davis slowed down the pace, making his music—and his trumpet—sound more like the human voice. He revolutionized music by going back to its roots.

Join WRTI on Tuesday, May 26th as we celebrate on the of coolest cats to ever grace the stage...the legendary Miles Dewey Davis.

Miles was known to be in the right place at the right time, as he always seemed to choose the perfect personnel to join him on his evolutionary recordings, which helped to hurl him into international stardom.  He also launched the careers of many a jazz legend, and had enormous influence over some artists whom he never even met.

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