Miles on Miles: Interviews and Encounters with Miles Davis
by Paul Maher Jr., Michael K. Dorr
Chicago Review Press
November 2008, 352 pages, $24.95
Review by Michael Patrick Brady
He also loves making other people uncomfortable. When dining with John Palcewski of Cavalier magazine at a restaurant in Boston in 1969, Davis terrorizes the staff, putting on a show for the writer. “This place looks like a whorehouse,” he announces, before needling the waiter about the quality of his soup. “It tastes like you look.” This aversion to comfort and desire for tension can be clearly seen in the evolution of his work from his landmark ‘Birth of the Cool’ recordings to his controversial fusion work in the latter stages of his career. Davis never wanted to stop moving, always wanted to be doing something, pissing somebody off, and driving people wild.
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Miles on Miles is an examination of Davis’s lifelong campaign to define himself publicly and obscure himself privately, erecting a grand façade of a terrifying, egotistical, artistic giant to shield the quieter, more approachable man within. It’s a strategy that seems to have backfired; the character Miles created around himself is brutally compelling, and watching him spar with this diverse set of insightful and thoughtful writers is a delight. At the collection’s close, Miles’ enigma remains firmly intact, and thankfully so. A little mystery always keeps things interesting.
See entire review here.