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Miles Davis: The Man in the Green Shirt

By Richard Williams

“It was the green shirt. Charlie Parker had the headlong genius. Thelonious Monk had the beatnik weirdness, and Charlie Mingus had the rebel soul. But only Miles Davis had the green shirt. There it was on the cover of Milestones, one of the handful of late-fifties albums that turned him from a gifted bebop musician into a figure of godlike potency.”

In this elegant, beautifully written study, Richard Williams follows the great Miles Davis through his long career, threading his expertise and appreciation of his music into the narrative of his subject’s life. 

Like so many jazz men of his generation Davis had a long struggle with addiction, but came through to work with all the greats, and to release some of the 20th century’s most seminal albums. The epitome of cool, Davis’s immense charisma led to great success with women, including French chanteuse Juliette Greco. 

After his death in 1991 Davis was inducted into the Rock n Roll hall of fame. Rolling Stone magazine described him as “the most revered jazz trumpeter of all time, not to mention one of the most important musicians of all time”. This book will delight jazz aficionados and music lovers alike, for the quality of Richard Williams’ writing, his extensive knowledge of jazz history and appreciation of Davis’ huge talent, his chequered road to success, and his complex personality.

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