Miles Davis, the trumpeter and composer whose haunting tone and ever-changing style made him an elusive touchstone of jazz for four decades, died yesterday at St. He was 65 years old. He died of pneumonia, respiratory failure and a stroke, his doctor, Jeff Harris, said in a statement released by the hospital. A spokeswoman for the hospital, Pat Kirk, said yesterday that Mr. Davis had been a patient there for several weeks. Davis's unmistakable, voicelike, nearly vibratoless tone -- at times distant and melancholy, at others assertive yet luminous -- has been imitated around the world.
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He is among the most influential and acclaimed figures in the history of jazz and 20th-century music. Davis adopted a variety of musical directions in a five-decade career that kept him at the forefront of many major stylistic developments in jazz. Born in Alton, Illinois , and raised in East St. Louis , Davis left to study at the Juilliard School in New York City , before dropping out and making his professional debut as a member of saxophonist Charlie Parker 's bebop quintet from to Shortly after, he recorded the Birth of the Cool sessions for Capitol Records , which were instrumental to the development of cool jazz. In the early s, Miles Davis recorded some of the earliest hard bop music while on Prestige Records but did so haphazardly due to a heroin addiction. After a widely acclaimed comeback performance at the Newport Jazz Festival in , he signed a long-term contract with Columbia Records and recorded the album 'Round About Midnight. During this period, he alternated between orchestral jazz collaborations with arranger Gil Evans , such as the Spanish-influenced Sketches of Spain , and band recordings, such as Milestones and Kind of Blue
Who Was Miles Davis?
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