An 85th anniversary year doesn't have the ring of a 50, 75 or 100th -- but any excuse to celebrate Miles is one worth making.
Davis, born in 1926, became a jazz icon in the days when jazz was a genuinely popular art form. His sound became as recognizable in the 50s as Joe McCarthy’s voice and the “Ozzie and Harriet” theme song, and much more welcome than either.
Vibes player Teddy Charles told us Miles came to Gene Smith’s Jazz Loft at 821 Sixth Avenue (active from 1957-1965) at least once to commune with the great teacher and arranger Hall Overton (though sadly we have no tape to document that meeting).
==> Listen to the Hall Overton episode of The Jazz Loft Project Radio Series
To honor what would have been the legend’s 85th birthday (he died in 1991), there are several events coming up in NYC - the city where Davis spent much of his career.
- Iridium Jazz Club: Thursday, May 19th through Sunday, May 22nd. “Miles Davis from Birth of the Cool to Bitches Brew” Saturday May 21st and Sunday, May 22nd; Featuring music from Peter Washington, Jimmy Cobb, Buster Williams and more.
- Le Poisson Rouge – Wednesday, May 25th with JD Walter, Cynthia Scott, Claudia Acuna, Sasha Dobson and more.
- Zinc Bar – Thursday, May 26th: Miles Davis 85th Birthday with Wallace Roney.
- Harlem Arts Salon – Thursday, May 26th – With Keiryn Bell, Quincy Troupe and more.
- Smoke Jazz and Supper Club -- Friday, 5/27 and Sunday, 5/29 with Gregory Porter.