Miles Davis in 1964 (public domain photo)
prince of darkness
He said that by age 12, music was the most important thing in his life. In the mid 1960s, after receiving a hip replacement, he checked himself out of hospital before a full recovery, saying he was "bored". Miles Davis was a jazz innovator who never rested on his accomplishments - always looking to create the next big sound. Surprisingly, despite jazz giving Davis his fame and success - he would later declare that jazz was "dead" and pursued other forms of music (poorly received by critics but applauded by fans). Davis had the nickname "Prince of Darkness" because of his brooding stage presence (often looking at the floor, away from the audience). The man who was delighted as a child to receive a trumpet for a birthday gift - became violent in the last year of his life, apparently due to the medications he was taking. The great innovator died at age 65 in 1991 reportedly from a stroke and complications from AIDS. In the 1950s, Miles had a friend who always remarked "So What?" to every piece of news, so he wrote a song with that title. It became his first smash hit in 1959. You can hear that amazing tune and others by Miles Davis here on Easy Jazz FM Radio.