MILES: The Autobiography by Miles with Quincy Troupe Davis
Kirkus Star

MILES: The Autobiography

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Unvarnished life of groundbreaking trumpeter Miles Davis, told in his own voice and full of gigs, drugs, giants, and women. It's hard to separate Miles from his music in reviewing his autobiography, but what strikes one first here is his remorseless egomania (compensating for insecurity) that only gets worse as the book goes on. At last it becomes towering meglomania as his guiltless drugging silences his horn for five years and--on his return and his chameleon-like absorption into rock--his playing fades into the new black fusion with funk rock, with Miles still drugging, thinking he's being inventive, and changing personnel faster than the wind turns while his playing dissolves into dullness (for which he receives awards). Meanwhile; he goes from having women pimping for him to support his habit, and being impotent for two or three years, to his later full-blown satyriasis, which has him slapping his women and knocking out their teeth with no regrets, not even here (""A lot of black women don't know how to deal with an artist. . .An artist might have something on his mind at any time. So you just can't he fucking with him and taking him away from what he's thinking or doing. That shit is horrible if an artist has a woman who don't respect when he has to be creative--""). But if you want to read about Miles and Bird and the great recordings, and Miles' continuing bug-eyed amazement at Bird's genius and loving him while thinking him one slimy addict personally, and about Miles' cold turkey on heroine but ongoing love of coke, his threads, his wheels and his horses, be warned. He has his kiss-my-butt moments, but this is a book worth reading.

Pub Date: Sept. 30th, 1989
ISBN: 0671725823
Publisher: Simon & Schuster