Poster Miles Davis
Jazz trumpeter and composer Miles Davis sits with his instrument during a studio recording session in 1959.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Rhapsody in Black

Miles Davis reinvented the jazz scene

Rhapsody in Black - Miles Davis

Jazz trumpeter Miles Davis redefined the genre in subtle and caustic ways. While he had great success he was always restless for innovation. After studying extensively at Julliard before his fame, he searched for material that would rescue him from the club circuit. After entering jazz through be-bop, Miles transitioned to cool jazz and fusion while creating a style that has yet to be reproduced.

Musical arrangements from Miles Davis

“Blue In Green”

This chart is the third tune on the legendary Kind of Blue. One of two ballads, the melody is very modal, incorporating the presence of the Dorian, Mixolydian, and Lydian modes. Coming from Davis’ shift away from be-bop, this type of jazz tends to be the sound that is often associated with Davis.

“Bitches Brew”

This is the title track of one of the most pioneering and influential Jazz albums ever. It pioneered the application of the studio as a musical instrument, featuring stacks of edits and studio effects that were an integral part of the music. It was innovative with its approach to rhythm by having two bassists (one playing bass guitar, the other double bass), two to three drummers, two to three electric piano players and a percussionist play simultaneously.


Host: Vernon Neal

Producer: Dan Nass

Writers: Andrea Blain and Scott Blankenship

Additional music selections: Jeffrey Yelverton

Executive Producer: Julie Amacher

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About Rhapsody in Black

Where we turn up the voices of Black artists in the world of classical music, with host Vernon Neal.

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About Rhapsody in Black