The Miles Davis Radio Project
An Eight-hour series highlighting the life, career and
influence of jazz legend, Miles Davis.
HOUR #1—MILES DAVIS, THE EARLY YEARS (1926-1946)
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 #2—”NEW YORK TO PARIS AND BACK (1946-1956)
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 #3-MIDNIGHT IDOL (1956-60)
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 #4 –THE 60’S ARE ELECTRIC
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
HOUR #5 — MILES DAVIS-RETIREMENT AND REBIRTH
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 #6-BEHIND THE SCENES WITH MILES DAVIS
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.
HOUR #7, HOUR #8–MILES LIVE
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.