Trumpeter and composer Miles Davis for years defined "cool."
Born in 1926 in East St. Louis where his father worked as a dentist, Davis received his first trumpet at age 13. The young prodigy deeply admired jazz legends Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Billy Eckstine and others. He reportedly accepted admission to the prestigious Juilliard School in 1944, in large part so he could jam with them in New York, a goal he accomplished within a year and dropped out.
In 1947, the Miles Davis All-Stars debuted on the Savoy label. Davis developed his craft during the be-bop era but helped define various styles, from cool jazz to jazz-funk. He also helped discover talents Sonny Rollins and Percy Heath.
In 1996, the jazz legend was inducted as a performer into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
On Sept. 28, 1991, Davis died of pneumonia, respiratory failure and a stroke at age 65.
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(Photo: CBS /Landov)
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