Thursday, February 2, 2012
U.S., France to honor Prince of Cool
Word is finally out now that the U.S. Postal Service, in some kind of conjunction with France (Don't ask me what. Do we ever know what France is up to? They are music lovers tho, and have proven over decades to be jazz lovers), is issuing a Miles Davis postage stamp this year.
The likes of Bird, Trane, Billie, Ella, Duke, and Pops have received the honored. Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson. This year the general Jazz Appreciation stamp was issued. Very cool. He and Edith Piaf, an iconic French singer, will have their stamps issued at the same time. Perhaps that's the French connection.
No word yet on when it will be available.
Of course, reams of material has been written about Miles, the man who changed music four or five times, and put an indelible stamp (no pun intended) on trumpet style. And the sound. The beautiful SOUND.("The Sound is Silenced" said the New York Post headline when Miles died).
No repetition here of all the reasons why Miles is Miles and his incredible impact on music. An impact that remains to this day and likely for as long as humans organize and emit musical sounds.
I did find a picture of what the stamp will be. I think it's a great choice -- the photo that can be found on "Tribute to jack Johnson" (Columbia, 1971), an album that actually solidified the body of work that got Miles elected to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. It's a great image. Miles Workin'. Cookin'. Steamin' Not relaxin'. Miles doin' it.
Nice that these greats are honored periodically. Who will be next? My vote would be Sarah Vaughan. Yours?
On a related Miles front, there are now two movies headed for production about Miles.
Don Cheadle, a good actor, is involved in the project first suggested a few decades ago. Weird things being said about it. It won't be a typical "bio pic", but will try to capture Miles somehow. (a DIFFICULT task).
Another has surfaced based on a book by his son Gregory, "Dark Magus." problem is, the book isn't very good.
Who knows when these will surface. I'm prepared for them to miss the mark, as Hollywood so often does, and pretty much suck. But I'll be there to view them, hoping I'm wrong. I'm as willing to bet on the sucking part tho, as strongly as I'm willing to bet the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots this weekend in the Super Bowl. By alot.
The best books on Miles are the autobiography, the bios penned by Ian Carr and John Szwed, and the one on his electric period by Paul Tingen. There are some other worthy ones. "The Man in the Green Shirt" is great for photos and has decent commentary.
So -- Miles lives on. As ever.