The Miles Davis Radio Project

The Miles Davis Radio Project

An Eight-hour series highlighting the life, career and

influence of jazz legend, Miles Davis.


Hour features interview segments with trumpeters Clark

Terry, Dizzy Gillespie, Jon Faddis, Olu Dara and

Lester Bowie, childhood friend, Millard Curtis, first

bandleader Eddie RANDLE, drummer Art Blakey, singer

Roberta Flack, bebop poet, PAINTER AND PHOTOGRAPHER  RICHARD “Prophet” Jennings,

Congressman John Conyers, Miles Davis and many others.

Musical demonstrations by Clark Terry, Jon Faddis, Olu

Dara and Lester Bowie.

The hour begins with an assessment of the career and

influence of Miles, looks at his childhood in East St.

Louis Illinois and also features collage theme

sections including “Miles Sound”, “Miles and the

Blues”,  “Miles and Fashion” and “the birth of



Hour features interviews segments with critics Ira

Gitler, Martin Williams, Clayton Riley, Stanley

Crouch, writer Ishmael Reed, drummers Roy Porter and

Art Taylor, trumpeter Art Farmer, pianists Walter

Davis, JR. and Walter Bishop, Jr., saxophonist and

musicologist Andrew White, saxophonist Gerry Mulligan,

Miles Davis and many others.

In this hour we follow Miles to New York where he

studies composition at the Julliard School and Bebop

at the feet of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. We

see him joining Charlie Parker’s quintet, meeting

arranger Gil Evans and the formation of Miles’ own

“Birth of the Cool” nonet with baritone saxist Gerry

Mulligan. We then follow Miles’ formative trip to

Europe with Tadd Dameron’s band and his return to

America only to become ensnared in the heroin epidemic

that decimates the ranks of jazz in the Forties and

Fifties. Miles emerges from his addiction in 1955 with

a major label record contract and the most talked

about band in the music.

The hour features theme collages, “Miles as musical

stylist”, “Heroin and the jazz scene”, “Miles and

Monk”, “Miles as Black role model”, and musical

demonstrations by Roy Porter and Andrew White.


Hour features interview segments with arranger Quincy

Jones, pianists Keith Jarrett and George Duke, singer

songwriter Joni Mitchell, drummer Jimmy Cobb, dancer

Jeri Gray (wife of saxophonist Wardell Gray), Miles’ ex wife, Frances Taylor Davis,

Miles Davis and many others.

Hour finds Miles at the height of his popularity,

celebrity and artistic powers. Follows his work from

the quintet with John Coltrane, Philly Joe Jones, Paul

Chambers and Red Garland to his groundbreaking “Kind

of Blue” sextet featuring Coltrane, Cannonball

Adderly, Bill Evans, Paul Chambers and Art Taylor at

the end of the decade.

The hour features theme collages, “Miles as singer”,

“Miles as band leader”, “Miles and Gil Evans”, “Kind

of person” and musical demos by Tony Williams, Andrew

White and Olu Dara.


Hour features interviews segments with critic Nat

Hentoff, saxophonist Wayne Shorter, drummer Lenny

White, keyboardist Joe Zawinul, bassist Dave Holland,

percussionist Airto Moreira, Miles Davis and many


Hour finds Miles at yet another transition point in

his career as his classic sextet falls apart and he

creates yet another legendary group featuring Wayne

Shorter on saxophone, Herbie Hancock on piano, Ron

Carter on bass, and Tony Williams on drums. He also

finds time to work with his friend, arranger Gil Evans

on their classic collaborations “Sketches of Spain”

and “Porgy and Bess”. As the hour closes, “Free jazz”

is on the ascendant and Miles’ new group of young

masters Chic Corea, Jack DeJohnette and Dave Holland

are following its siren call.

Hour features theme collages, “Miles and Change”,

“Trumpet and drums” and music demos by Lenny White and

Wayne Shorter.


Hour features interview segments with Guitarist Carlos

Santana, African saxophonist Fela Kuti, saxophonist

Gary Bartz, producer Tommy DiPuma, Grateful Dead

bassist Phil Lesh, Miles Davis and many others.

Hour begins with Miles creation of the Fusion,

Jazz/Rock movement and the recordings “In a Silent

Way” and “Bitches Brew”. The hour delves into the

complex musical, social and personal reasons for Miles

move in this direction, then follows Miles through his

bizarre retirement 1975 and his return to the music

scene in 1980. The hour presents many differing

assessments of both the quality and nature of Miles

last decade of performing and recording.

Hour Theme collages include “African Music and Blues”,

“Assessments of Miles music”


Hour features NEVER BEFORE BROADCAST out takes from the Columbia

record vaults, featuring Miles’1955 band, his 1967

band and an unused take from the Sketches of Spain

sessions. We then come into a modern studio circa 1988

with composer and bassist Marcus Miller and producer Tommy LiPuma

demonstrating for us how they put together the song

“TuTu” from the album of that name and integrated Miles’ gripping performance. Finally we are

admitted to a Miles rehearsal of one of his last bands

in 1988. We hear Miles talking to the band members about how he want the song interpreted, and commentary from the musicians about what it was like to get coaching from the master. This is the only known broadcast of a Miles Davis rehearsal.


Features two live concerts of Miles last band on their

1988-1989 tour. The first set is live in New York at

Indigo Blues, December 1988 and the other, at the

Coach House in San Juan Capistrano, California.

Intercut with the concerts are interviews with various

band members and short live recordings from some of

Miles great bands from over the years.  Commentary from Art Blakey, Airto, Joni Mitchell, Keith Jarrett and others.