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YMMV / Miles Davis

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  • Archive Panic: Over 100 albums. Have fun. Really big fun.
    • And a lot of these are double albums which are long even by double album standards; Get Up with It exceeds two hours, a running time almost unheard of in the vinyl era. Then there's all the extra bonus tracks on the CD versions which further add to the amount of material waiting to be explored; for an extreme example, the CD reissue of Big Fun had about 50% more material than the vinyl version.
    • Even if you say, "Okay, I'll just start out with the albums that got five-star reviews on AllMusic", good luck. Counting box sets and compilations, there are 35 as of May 28, 2013 (although some are just repackagings of previous releases).
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  • Broken Base: Hard to avoid when you're considered the poster child of each new jazz movement. Will it be hard bop, cool jazz, modal jazz or fusion? Acoustic or electric? The first great quintet or the second? Before or after he incorporated rock, funk, Indian sounds or even synthesizers? Some critics still won't forgive him for putting out Bitches Brew, the Woodstock-inspired jazz orgy of a record that inspired, among many other things, Radiohead's OK Computer.
  • Ear Worm: As groundbreaking as his music is, it wouldn't have made as large an impact as it did if most of it weren't also so catchy.
  • Epic Riff: Nearly every single fusion song he recorded has at least one, and quite a few from his earlier periods do as well. Two of the best examples are in "Bitches Brew", one of them being the plodding bassline that makes up most of the song and the other being the keyboard riff that makes up the intro, outro, and midsection of the piece. Another particularly excellent one is from "Willie Nelson", the second half of "Yesternow" from Jack Johnson. It's inspired by James Brown's "Say It Loud (I'm Black and I'm Proud)", so that shouldn't come as much of a surprise.
  • Growing the Beard: When he was playing frenetic bebop music, he sounded uncomfortable. Once he became a bandleader and had the freedom to play in his unique style he became, well, Miles Davis.
    • His experimentation in different styles would have sub-examples of this as well. For example, In a Silent Way is considered to be the point where his fusion material became truly great.
  • Signature Song: So many.
  • Spiritual Successor: If his later hip-hop and electronica years don't factor into your personal Fanon Discontinuity, Jonah Dempcy's electronic jazz-whatever could easily be this.
  • Sweet Dreams Fuel:
    • In a Silent Way has a very soothing, relaxed sound compared to his later more frenetic fusion work.
    • Earlier on, albums like Kind of Blue and Sketches of Spain could also qualify for this trope.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Miles' fusion experiments were as controversial in the jazz community as Bob Dylan was in the folk world when he went electric.
  • True Art Is Incomprehensible: Starting with Bitches Brew, things start getting ... weird.
    Miles Davis: If you understood everything I said, you'd be me.
  • Vindicated by History: His funk-influenced 1972 album On the Corner was critically panned and a commercial failure upon its release. Now its recognized as a huge influence in the development of hip-hop, electronica, and drum and bass, as well as being one of his best albums.
    • His 1974 album Big Fun received the same treatment, though it was more a case of being ignored than being reviled. Four ~25-minute songs coming out at the start of the disco era will do that to you. On the Corner inspired vitriolic hatred because jazz purists saw Miles' increasing use of tape editing and rock/funk influences (including the use of electric instruments) as ruining jazz purity. His wont for On the Corner to be mastered for AM radio fidelity simply so kids would hear his new album and get back into listening to him instead of James Brown was the last straw for some fans.
    • Taking a broader view, the fusion era in general; at the time Miles and Teo Macero's editing of performances on those records was very controversial and alienated jazz purists, but the albums are now usually recognized as masterpieces.


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