I’ll play it first and tell you what it is later. – Miles Davis
My ‘Miles Davis’ pen and ink illustration comes from my 8th sketchbook. This was during a period of being extremely fixated on cross hatching and attention to detail. The background might have taken as much time to do as the inking of Miles himself. This attention to detail made bringing him to the ‘LickedinPop Series’ a no brainer. It’s ironic I spent all that time being incredibly anal with the ink crosshatching only to bring it into photoshop to ‘dirty’ it up for the series.
I Always Listen to What I Leave Out.
Instrumental in the development of jazz, Miles Davis is considered one of the top musicians of his era. Born in Illinois in 1926, he traveled at age 18 to New York City to pursue music. Throughout his life, he was at the helm of a changing concept of jazz. Winner of nine Grammy awards, Miles Davis died on September 28, 1991 from respiratory distress in Santa Monica, California.
In March and April 1959, Davis re-entered the studio with his working sextet to record what is widely considered his magnum opus, Kind of Blue. He called back Bill Evans, months away from forming what would become his own seminal trio, for the album sessions, as the music had been planned around Evans’ piano style. Both Davis and Evans were acquainted with the ideas of pianist George Russell regarding modal jazz; Davis from discussions with Russell and others before the Birth of the Cool sessions, and Evans from study with Russell in 1956. Davis, however, had neglected to inform current pianist Kelly of Evans’ role in the recordings; Kelly subsequently played only on the track “Freddie Freeloader” and was not present at the April dates for the album. “So What” and “All Blues” had been played by the sextet at performances prior to the recording sessions, but for the other three compositions, Davis and Evans prepared skeletal harmonic frameworks that the other musicians saw for the first time on the day of recording, to allow a fresher approach to their improvisations. The resulting album has proven both highly popular and enormously influential. According to the RIAA, Kind of Blue is the best-selling jazz album of all time, having been certified as quadruple platinum (4 million copies sold). In December 2009, the US House of Representatives voted 409–0 to pass a resolution honoring the album as a national treasure.
If you understood everything I say, you’d be me!
All work in the LickedinPop Series begins as an original pen and Ink illustration. Rich and colorful, it is my homage to the work of Roy Lichtenstein tuned to my favorites in pop culture. Beautiful reproductions of ‘Miles Davis’ and all my work in the LickedinPop Series are available for sale at my Etsy Store. Please come visit!