Happy Miles Davis Day

A Twitter personality who I hadn’t known before today reminded me of the late Miles Davis’ birthday…on May 26th. That’s a big deal for me. Thank you.



There is a Canadian newspaper that once published a story years after the legendary horn player’s death which, to summarize, suggested we should all just get over his passing. There were lots of other great jazz we could go experience.

The paper is a fairly important daily. I was working at the Indigo bookstore at Yonge & Eglinton in periodicals the day this broadsheet launched. But ever since this column, there’s been a faint stain to my perception of both the columnist and publication. The comment was just petty.

My fiancé reminds me that I can also be petty. So be it.

Sorry but Miles Davis was not just another trumpeter. No.

The attitude of the motherf**ker…

Miles was peak. The Michael Jordan of frequency. John Coltrane was there as well with his saxophone. But Miles was still alive and innovating when, resident in Generation X, I became conscious of these sounds.

And I found him mostly on my own. His vibe was defining.

Having flipped through my grandparents’ albums, I know they were jazz connoisseurs. Although the potential was always there, sadly, since grandma’s early passing, the sounds were realized far less often.

In comparison, it was primarily rock powering my dad’s speakers. The biker with an afro also believed I stole his Bob Marley Legend CD. I didn’t, at least as my battered memory permits.

My grandparents were from a classier era. Rich art deco influences were around. In their clothing and home fashions. White walls, pea green carpets and thick gold curtains. Galoshes.

They traversed the zenith. Peak Miles. Peak Peak. Fortunately though this champion had leftovers for Boomers and my kind as well. His sounds infiltrated the 1990s with Doo-Bop to mix it up with acid, hip hop and house.

Miles was contemporary with The Chronic, with The Pharcyde’s Bizarre Ride IIMecca and the Soul Brother were contending with some real Mystery. Two generations on. Happy Miles Davis Day motherf**kers.


*Updated August 6 for clarity and grammar.