Birth of the Cool (Commemoration)


Image of Miles Davis by Palumbo from Wikipedia. Click for source

Yesterday my neighborhood inaugurated a brand new street name to commemorate one of the coolest humans to have graced our planet, jazz great, Miles Davis.


Moments before the unveiling.

Mr. Davis had lived at 312 W. 77th Street in Manhattan for 25 years (although he moved somewhere else before he died in 1991 at age 65).  Years after his death, one of his old neighbors became determined to honor Davis by renaming the block in his honor.  The city gave her the runaround for a good long time, but she prevailed.  Great Job Shirley Zafirau!

Yesterday, on what would have been Miles Davis’ 88th birthday, his family invited everyone to a block party to celebrate the official unveiling of his block’s new name.


“Miles Davis Way”.

miles davis way

A lot of neighbors and fans (and media and paparazzi) came to celebrate the man who popularized entirely new kinds of music and who influenced generations of musicians in many genres in addition to jazz.  Read about his life and his immense importance at his official website and Wikipedia.

I know nawtheen about jazz,  but I still can appreciate the cool of Birth of the Cool – have a listen!




1 Response to “Birth of the Cool (Commemoration)”

  1. 1 nick smith May 27, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    Hi Professor,

          Yes, Miles was a great musician.  I saw him at Paul’s Mall in Boston in 1975.  He played part of the set with his back to the audience.  Later, I would see Siouxie of the Brit punk band the Banshees do that.  She probably copied that from him.  For me, Davis’ best album was “Bitch’s Brew”, recorded live at the Fillmore East in 1970.  They just recently reissued it with lots of amazing playing by Chick Corea, Jack DeJohnette, Badal Roy, Dave Holland, Keith Jarrett, and John McLaughlin, to name only a few.  Very trippy stuff.  As a drummer, I was always able to learn something from listening to his bands.  It’s great that they named a street after him. 

    All the best,

    Nick Smith

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