By Robert Wood
Miles Davis is known the world over as “The Genius of Jazz” and indeed he was just that. The magical sounds flowed from his trumpet directly from his mind and body. There was no need for written music or even rehearsal time before a concert, because it was always there at the ready, waiting to come out, to be reborn, released to fill the air, drifting us into another dimension of human emotion.
Such was his love of painting. He constantly crossed back and forth from one artistic medium to the other with the ease of breathing. It’s easy for me to understand his flow, being a fellow Gemini; blessed with knowing the twins inside, how to react to both sides, good and evil, yin and yang, so on and so on, grounded by his genius of art.
That being said, it was with great pride for me to escort my dear friend, Frances Davis to the private red carpet book launch party for “Miles Davis – The Collected Artwork,” held at Mr. Musichead Art Gallery on the famous Sunset Strip. The Diva, Mrs. Miles Davis as usual took center stage, not by choice, but by the love that was shown to her by those in attendance. I call her that, because she went the distance with Miles giving up a Broadway and Film career to be at his constant side. As far as I am concerned, she earned the right, “The Mrs. Miles Davis”; one and only. She does not ask or demand this attention; it flows to her as easily as the art of Miles flows; as she flows through his art.
The Collected Artwork of Miles Davis is overwhelming in the magnitude of his paintings that only represent the tip of the iceberg. I was stunned by his creativity and as I mentioned to his nephew Vincent Wilburn Jr. who helped in the creation of the book, along with Miles’ daughter Cheryl Davis and son Erin Davis; myself majoring in fine arts in college, Miles Davis stands easily alongside Modigliani, Kandinsky, Braque, Picasso and Chagall. Many of his paintings transcend time and can easily fall into the art movement of Paris prior to and during the 1920s. Miles Davis was not only a genius of jazz, but a genius alongside these great painters.
The gallery exhibition contained original artwork as well as rare photographs. There is also the release of the newly re-mastered “SONY MILES DAVIS MONO SESSIONS” specially boxed CD set. The gallery was filled with the visual and audio magical genius of Miles as well as the love and light from his friends and family.
There has been a continual buzz around Hollywood for many years of a movie centered on his life. It is long over due and my hope, the gods willing; it will soon come to fruition. We must recognize the history of this great artist in as many ways as possible as was shown on such a wonderful and exciting Hollywood night.