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Miles: The Autobiography | [Miles Davis]

Miles: The Autobiography

Universally acclaimed as a musical genius, Miles Davis was one of the most important and influential musicians in the world. Here, Miles speaks out about his extraordinary life. Miles: The Autobiography, like Miles himself, holds nothing back. For the first time Miles talks about his five-year silence. He speaks frankly and openly about his drug problem and how he overcame it. He condemns the racism he encountered in the music business and in American society generally. And he discusses the women in his life.
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Publisher's Summary

Universally acclaimed as a musical genius, Miles Davis was one of the most important and influential musicians in the world. Here, Miles speaks out about his extraordinary life. Miles: The Autobiography, like Miles himself, holds nothing back. For the first time Miles talks about his five-year silence. He speaks frankly and openly about his drug problem and how he overcame it. He condemns the racism he encountered in the music business and in American society generally. And he discusses the women in his life. But above all, Miles talks about music and musicians, including the legends he has played with over the years: Bird, Dizzy, Monk, Trane, Mingus, and many others. The man who gave us some of the most exciting music of the twentieth century here gives us a compelling and fascinating autobiography.

©1989 Miles Davis. All rights reserved. (P)2012 AudioGo

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  •  
    Chaz Macomb, MI, United States 06-28-13
    Chaz Macomb, MI, United States 06-28-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Absolutely Beautiful"

    This would be a wonderful fiction novel if it were not a true story. That it is a true story and we get to hear and experience a large portion of American history in its most bold, iconic and pure sense is awe inspiring.. This is a great American story about one of the most important cultural icons.
    The narration is superb and gives us the feel of Davis' voice. I'm so very glad that the book wasn't watered down by editing out the swear words or the true stories of drugs, music, and life at the pinnacle of cultural inventiveness.
    This is a must read for any musician and for history buffs and those interested in true American culture and identity.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Danilo Vargas 04-18-14 Member Since 2013

    Marketing Consultant

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    "This books is a motherf*****!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Miles to be better than the print version?

    The performance of this book is fantastic. Amazing. It felt like having Miles Davis whispering in my ear telling me how it felt to change music over and over again over decades. Man, what a gift. I've never picked up the book, but because the text flows so rhythmically, I wager to guess it's best consumed as the spoken word. Dion Graham, thank you!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Miles?

    What isn't memorable? In fact, there are some scenes I may never get out of my head. In fact, I think the book's too candid. It's just plain nasty and course at times, and at other times utterly brilliant. But that's Miles. Love it or leave it. I love it. There's an important message in the book about not comprimising your art; about having low tolerance for the fake and the phony; about being true to yourself and not being afraid of holding your ground and expressing your creativity; about being your own man (or woman) and not giving much thought to the critics. That was the biggest takeaway for me.


    What does Dion Graham bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    At times I had to remind myself that Miles himself was NOT reading to me. I just had to marvel at the rhythm, the timing and the heart-felt emotion with which Graham reads certain passages. Like I said, it's a gift for all of us to enjoy.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    At times, it's a bit revolting, off-putting, outrageous. At other times funny, endearing, thought-provoking. In the end, there is sadness because I believe this man had more music in him. He says so himself, that he felt an urgency to create music, stronger than when he started. That saddened me.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is an unvarnished, honest, brilliant, course and profane work of a musical genius. I may not like everything Miles says in the book or how he conducted himself in his life, but he made me think and I value that. Also, he's real. He's human. You know that no one is perfect. And you know that life isn't perfect neither. Go out into the world and you'll see elements of the sublime and of the coarsest profanity. That's life and Miles was keepin' it real until the very end. You have to check it out.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    HankieG Pleasant Hill, CA USA 04-08-14
    HankieG Pleasant Hill, CA USA 04-08-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Musician and his Demons"
    If you could sum up Miles in three words, what would they be?

    Honest, Intense, Uncompromising


    What other book might you compare Miles to and why?

    Huckleberry Finn came to mind while listening to the story of Miles Davis. "Miles: The Autobiography" is far more relevant and real than the romantic Americana tale by Mark Twain. Tales of coming of age with racism and racial profiling, spoken in the language of a black man, is far more powerful and striking than the white country boy anecdotes of fictional Huck Finn. Huck Finn is a gentle summer rain and Miles is a thundering downpour.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When Miles first arrives in NYC after leaving East St. Louis at age 18 is pretty amazing stuff.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Miles' struggle and descent into the depths of heroin addiction and his eventual recovery is quite a frightening ride.


    Any additional comments?

    Tales of playing music with jazz greats like Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Charles Mingus, Thelonius Monk and Billy Eckstine filled in a number of gaps in my knowledge of Miles and these musicians as well. Some funny road stories too. This is one of my favorite audiobooks so far!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cornelius Pittsburgh, PA 12-02-13
    Cornelius Pittsburgh, PA 12-02-13 Member Since 2014

    Air Force Vet(1971-1974) retired NYC corrections officer.

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    "Great jazz history"
    If you could sum up Miles in three words, what would they be?

    a jazz legend





    Which character – as performed by Dion Graham – was your favorite?


    This was my first book read by Dion Graham and he had the raspy voice of Miles down to perfection, it gave you the feeling Miles was talking to you about his life and music this has become one of my favorite audible books



    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Just amazed at how many people Miles played with and his influence on jazz


    Any additional comments?

    If you love jazz this is a must listen.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martin MANASSAS, VA, United States 06-18-13
    Martin MANASSAS, VA, United States 06-18-13
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    "The Many Ups and Downs"
    What did you love best about Miles?

    Through many ups and Miles Davis followed his passion until the very end!


    What did you like best about this story?

    I listened to this during a rough time in my life. This story inspired me to carry on.


    What about Dion Graham’s performance did you like?

    His raspy voice reminded me of Miles'.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When the guy touched Miles' horn and thanked Miles.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dorothy flushing, NY, United States 06-13-13
    dorothy flushing, NY, United States 06-13-13 Member Since 2009
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    "loved it!"

    Mr Graham's reading was "right on" although in the beginning I didn't think I could listen to that low raspiness for a whole book! However, similar to the unusual voice in "A Prayer for Owen Meeny", once the story takes you, the voice becomes it's vehicle! Mr Graham WAS Miles Davis and the story gives you such a musical history ride through the country and abroad. It says so much about the culture of the United States during the segregational times, the integrational times and of course, the turbulent times of the 60s & 70s and Miles did not "mince" any words or thoughts on all of those times!
    He was honest and candid about his own personal struggles and much of his personal life, but always so very excited about the music! Much of the technical musical chat was beyond my understanding, yet it added to the sense of music and muscians as true art and artists... I went into the computer often during the "read" to listen to certain pieces that he discussed both for their musical and personal relevance and I now have my own Miles Davis collection!
    I watched the French movie "Ascenseur pour l'echafaud" just to hear the sound track he wrote and his interpretation of Rodrigo's "Concerto de Aranjuez" is amazing! He gave credit and criticism to all he came in contact with and adapted himself to the changes in music, not so much to stay popular, but because the creation and interpretation of sound was truly who he was and he couldn't keep playing that "same ole boring .$#^**%! stuff"

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Catherine LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 02-27-13
    Catherine LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 02-27-13 Member Since 2014

    I love to read!

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    "Fabulous translation"
    What made the experience of listening to Miles the most enjoyable?

    That Miles was not edited. That the author translated Miles' voice. His words have a rhythmic value just like his music. The author translated this in it's native value. That in itself, a work of art.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Miles' father. He never went into doubt about his son's potential.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Miles realizing a new environment (France) altered his own beingness. And he rose above fixed conditions.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The love and devotion of Miles' father to his son. The father admitting he could not help Miles' conquer the drug addiction.


    Any additional comments?

    I do not think anyone could outdo this autobiography. The author has met with his obligations to introduce the spirit of Miles Davis to others. This is a work of art and a labor of love. Thank you for you labor of love.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Saint Albans, NY, United States 09-28-12
    William Saint Albans, NY, United States 09-28-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Gritty But Powerful"
    What made the experience of listening to Miles the most enjoyable?

    Information about the Jazz scene and the variety of artists Miles came in contact with througout his carreer.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story was gritty and had many powerful messages. It explained away a lot of rumors, connected a lot of dots,revealed the many struggles, relationships and triumps that exist in the music business.


    What does Dion Graham bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The Miles "feeling" by hearing the story.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I knew there was drug and alcohol use in the jazz scene but the frequency and volume used was surprising.


    Any additional comments?

    I will be pulling my Miles music collection and will be having a marathon and tying the stories and information in the book to the various tunes. I would like to hear more autobiographies of the Jazz greats in the future.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    chris United States 08-06-12
    chris United States 08-06-12
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    "A way to know the man and history behind his music"
    Where does Miles rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    High


    What did you like best about this story?

    The picture you get of an era, and the many musicians that Miles knew and played with.


    Any additional comments?

    My godson is African American, when he's old enough I'd like him to hear this book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelli Smyrna, Ga, United States 07-12-12
    Kelli Smyrna, Ga, United States 07-12-12
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    "Wonderful"
    If you could sum up Miles in three words, what would they be?

    I feel as if Miles is sitting in the room talking to me. Dion Graham is Wonderful.......


    What other book might you compare Miles to and why?

    The Ray Charles Bio


    What does Dion Graham bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He Sounds like Miles Davis, he brings it to life for me.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes, I was shocked at some of the behaviors of the Jazz greats.


    Any additional comments?

    Get this audio book!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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