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Miles Dewey Davis III (May 26, 1926 – September 28, 1991) was an American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, and composer.
Widely considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, Davis was at the forefront of almost every major development in jazz from World War II to the 1990s: he played on various early bebop records and recorded one of the first cool jazz records; he was partially responsible for the development of hard bop and modal jazz, and both jazz-funk and jazz fusion arose from his work with other musicians in the late 1960s and early 1970s; and his final album blended jazz and rap.
Many leading jazz musicians made their names in Davis’s groups, including pianist Herbie Hancock, saxophonist John Coltrane, saxophonist Kenny Garrett, and guitarist John McLaughlin.
As a trumpeter, Davis had a pure, round sound but also an unusual freedom of articulation and pitch. He was known for favoring a low register and relatively sparse playing that served the song rather than display flashy playing, but Davis was also capable of highly complex and technically demanding trumpet work.
On March 13, 2006 Davis was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He has also been inducted into the St. Louis Walk of Fame, Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame, and Down Beat’s Jazz Hall of Fame.