Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Miles Davis

Sam Firsten opened Cleveland's own Cotton Club in June, 1954 at the corner of East 4th Street and Huron, featuring local son Jimmy Scott as emcee. The joint was established to showcase local jazz ensembles, though within a year Firsten was also booking national acts.

In November 1955 Firsten brought in the Modern Jazz Quartet, featuring Miles Davis and Teddy Wilson, not only to play night gigs but also Sunday matinees for teenagers - soda pop only, thank you. At this stage in his career, Miles Dewey Davis III (May 26, 1926 – September 28, 1991) had only recently kicked heroin, a plague which was currently affecting peers such as Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon and Art Blakey.

It has been suggested that touring the Midwest made it easier to stay away from drugs and from the hustling he had been engaged in during the early 50s to pay for his habit. The soda pop did not hurt.

Jazzed in Cleveland (Joe Mosbrook)

No comments:

Post a Comment