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Legendary trumpeter Miles Davis would have been 84 today. His sounds recollects early urban bebop, Chicago, Harlem and global vinyl. He is the birth of cool and still has us gloriously blue. Its been long rumored the transformative artist will be portrayed by actor Don Cheadle in a biopic. We prematurely extend unseen praise–because how brilliant will that be? We could recall his tormented relations with Black women thanks to Pearl Cleage’s Mad at Miles. Instead we remember the man in front of the music and how many of us were introduced to Davis by way of contemporary artists’ influences. Like Badu’s ‘Rimshot,’a brilliant sample of ‘So What’ from the 1959 essential ‘Kind of Blue’ album. Or more earlier, Heavy D and the Boyz ‘You Can See What I Can See’ a sample of Davis’ 1970 ‘Bitches Brew.’ And more classically Gangstarr’s ‘Manifest’ riffing on Davis’ 1961 ‘A Night in Tunisia.’ Damn, where would hip hop be without Miles Davis? Or better American music at all.

We remember Miles.

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