Dark Magus: The Jekyll and Hyde Life of Miles Davis

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9780879308759: Dark Magus: The Jekyll and Hyde Life of Miles Davis
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Dark Magus is a warts-and-all look at the real Miles Davis. As told by his son, this book strips away the public perception of Davis and gets down to the realities of his personality, his relationships, and his many quirks. Dark Magus details this enigmatic superstar's Jekyll and Hyde behavior: his swings between sobriety and prodigious drug use; his tender family moments and his destructive selfishness; his search for marital stability and his obsession with young women; his exalted musical talent and his ever-present personal demons. The author also delves into Davis' relationships with artists such as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and John Coltrane, as well as his role as a mentor to young musicians, his obsession with sports, the ups and downs of his career, and the family's turmoil over his final will. "This book is a brilliant and engaging revelation of Miles' character through the recollections of his oldest son. It's a book about a legendary musician who was one of my closest friends, and a book that's second to none." - Clark Terry

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About the Author:

Gregory Rahman Ali Davis is the oldest son of Jazz legend Miles Davis. He travelled with his father from the age of 12 and was exposed to many great musicians along the way. Today, Gregory is carrying on the legacy of his father. Besides performing with his own group, Gregory holds a Masters Degree in Psychotheraphy. Les Sussman is the author of one book on country music and two books on gospel music. He writes for the NY Daily News and other publications. Possessor of the happiest sound in jazz, flugelhornist Clark Terry always plays music that is exuberant, swinging, and fun. A brilliant (and very distinctive) soloist, C.T. gained fame for his "Mumbles" vocals (which started as a satire of the less intelligible ancient blues singers) and is also an enthusiastic educator. He gained early experience playing trumpet in the viable St. Louis jazz scene of the early '40s (where he was an inspiration for Miles Davis) and, after performing in a Navy band during World War II, he gained a strong reputation playing with the big band of Charlie Barnet (1947-1948), the orchestra and small groups of Count Basie (1948-1951), and particularly with Duke Ellington (1951-1959).

Synopsis:

"Dark Magus" is a warts-and-all look at the real Miles Davis. As told by his son, this book strips away the public perception of Davis often concocted through other books written without such intimate access to the man and gets down to the realities of his personality and quirks. Despite being a jazz superstar for decades, Davis was reclusive and deeply distrustful of other people. "Dark Magus" details Davis's Jekyll-and-Hyde personality, including his prodigious drug use, his misogynistic attitude towards women, his self-centeredness and selfishness, his obsessive chasing of young women, his use of amphetamines during concerts, and his distressing tendency to use violence to get his way or exact revenge for slights real and imagined. Other fascinating details abound, including Davis's relationship with Charlie Parker, his obsession with sports (especially boxing), his likes and dislikes, his personal philosophies, and his often gruelling work with younger musicians.

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