Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Miles Davis and Bill Evans: Miles and Bill in Black & White

Miles Davis and Bill Evans
Miles Davis and Bill Evans
Miles Davis and Bill Evans in the studio

They were musical brothers separated by skin tone. The brief, nine-month partnership of Miles Davis and Bill Evans yielded some of the most sublime and enduring jazz ever recorded. Yet it could not survive the rigors that tested the creative union almost nightly: the road, their own career momentum and, most of all, the racial forces of the day.

Had either been more laid-back, thicker-skinned or same-skinned, who’s to say further modal excursions might not have followed their ultimate cooperative statement, Kind of Blue? Then again, without the unique blend of their sensitivities perhaps such a masterpiece would not have been possible in the first place. Perhaps the same heart-on-the-sleeve vulnerability that colored their respective musical signatures fated their association to such a short life.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published

Ashley Kahn

Ashley Kahn is a Grammy-winning American music historian, journalist, producer, and professor. He teaches at New York University’s Clive Davis Institute for Recorded Music, and has written books on two legendary recordings—Kind of Blue by Miles Davis and A Love Supreme by John Coltrane—as well as one book on a legendary record label: The House That Trane Built: The Story of Impulse Records. He also co-authored the Carlos Santana autobiography The Universal Tone, and edited Rolling Stone: The Seventies, a 70-essay overview of that pivotal decade.