Talk:Miles Davis

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Eric Dolphy quote[edit]

I don't have an authoritative reference, but the context for the "foot" quote is said[1] to have been a blindfold test, with Miles commenting on the song "On Green Dolphin Street" from the Eric Dolpy Quintet album Outward Bound (1960).

Choking a white man quote[edit]

Can anyone find a reference for this other than one from a white supremacy website?

There's a reference from Jet in 1985 that refers to a "recent USA Today article."

http://books.google.com/books?id=FbEDAAAAMBAJ&lpg=PA1&pg=PA61#v=onepage&q=nice%20and%20slow&f=false

In a recent USA Today article, reporter Miles White quotes Davis as saying: "If somebody told me I only had one hour to live, I'd spend it choking a White man. I'd do it nice and slow." But the veteran musician added, "The only White people I don't like are the prejudiced White people. Those the shoe don't fit, well, they don't wear it."

Unsourced[edit]

Wikiquote no longer allows unsourced quotations, and they are in process of being removed from our pages (see Wikiquote:Limits on quotations); but if you can provide a reliable and precise source for any quote on this list please move it to Miles Davis.

  • If somebody told me I only had an hour to live, I'd spend it choking a white man. I'd do it nice and slow.
    • During an interview, after growing aggravated about questions on the subject of race.
      • Jet (25 March 1985)
  • A legend is an old man with a cane known for what he used to do. I'm still doing it.
    • On being called a legend.
      • Quoted in International Herald Tribune (17 July 1991); also in: Shapiro, Fred R., ed (2006). The Yale Book of Quotations. Yale University Press. p. 189. ISBN 9780300107982. 
  • Jazz is like blues with a shot of heroin
  • Who's that motherfucker? He can't play shit!
  • You a motherfucker.
    • A compliment to Chick Corea, who thought he was about to be fired.
      • In Dawson, Jim (2011). The Compleat Motherfucker: A History of the Mother of All Dirty Words. ReadHowYouWant.com. ISBN 9781459619562. 
  • He plays like somebody is standing on his foot.
    • On Eric Dolphy
      • He plays like somebody was standing on his foot.
        • In Down Beat "Blindfold Test" with Leonard Feather (13 June 1964); also in Chambers, Jack (1983). Milestones: The music and times of Miles Davis since 1960. Beech Tree Books. p. 71. ISBN 9780688046460. 
  • He could very well be the Duke Ellington of Rock 'n' Roll.
    • On Prince
      • In Werner, Craig Hansen (2006). A Change is Gonna Come: Music, Race & the Soul of America. University of Michigan Press. p. 53. ISBN 9780472031474.  as: he can be the Duke Ellington of our times.
        And in Paul Maher, Michael K. Dorr, ed (2009). Miles on Miles: Interviews and Encounters with Miles Davis. Musicians in Their Own Words Series. Chicago Review Press. p. 262. ISBN 9781556527067.  as: Do you know who Prince kinda reminds me of, particularly as a piano player? Duke! Yeah, he's the Duke Ellington of the eighties to my way of thinking.
  • Why'd you put that white bitch on there?
    • To George Avakian after seeing the cover chosen by Columbia for Miles Ahead.
      • In Davis, Miles; Troupe, Quincy (1989). Miles: The Autobiography. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 0-671-63504-2. , Kirchner, Bill (1997). Kirchner, Bill. ed. A Miles Davis reader. Smithsonian Readers in American Music. Smithsonian Institution Press. p. 255. , and Giddins, Gary (1998). Visions of Jazz: The First Century. Oxford University Press. p. 347. ISBN 9780199715206. 
  • "You can't play anything on a horn that Louis hasn't played." and "I love Pops" (Louis' nickname)
    • on Louis Armstrong in a Playboy magazine interview.
      • Louis has been through all kinds of styles. That's good tuba, by the way. You know you can't play anything on a horn that Louis hasn't played — I mean even modern. I love his approach to the trumpet; he never sounds bad. He plays on the beat — with feeling. That's another phrase for swing. I also love the way he sings.
      • I love Pops, I love the way he sings, the way he plays - everything he does, except when he says something against modern-jazz music.
        • In Playboy to Alex Haley (1962); also in Chambers, Jack (1983). Milestones: The music and times of Miles Davis since 1960. Beech Tree Books. p. 209. ISBN 9780688046460. , Haley, Alex (1993). Fisher, Murray. ed. The Playboy Interviews. Ballantine. p. 15. ISBN 9780345383006. , Carner, Gary (1996). Carner, Gary. ed. The Miles Davis companion: four decades of commentary. Schirmer Books. p. 19. ISBN 9780028646121. , and in Early, Gerald Lyn, ed (2001). Miles Davis and American Culture. Missouri Historical Society Press Series. Missouri History Museum. p. 205. ISBN 9781883982386. 
  • I’ll play it and tell you what it is later.
    • During a recording session for Prestige, on the album "Relaxin' with the Miles Davis Quintet" (1956).
      • In Szwed, John (2012). So What: The Life of Miles Davis. Random House. ISBN 9781448106462. , and in many other books
        Ssometimes rendered as: I'll play it 'first and tell you what it is later.
  • Listen baby, when I say later, I mean it! Later!
    • After being approached by a relentless interviewer.
  • There are no wrong notes.
  • My ego only needs a good rhythm section.
    • On being asked what he looked for in musicians.
      • My ego only needs a good rhythm section.
        • In Chambers, Jack (1983). Milestones: The music and times of Miles Davis since 1960. Beech Tree Books. p. 261. ISBN 9780688046460. 
          "My ego only needs a good rhythm section" is also the title of an interview/article by Stephen Davis for The Real Paper (21 March 1973)
  • When you are creating your own shit, man, even the sky ain't the limit.
  • Try taking the fucking horn out of your mouth.
    • Davis was questioning the increasing length of John Coltrane solos, and Trane answered "I don't know how to stop."
      • When you're creating your own shit, man, even the sky ain't the limit.
        • Davis, Miles; Troupe, Quincy (1990). Miles. Simon and Schuster. p. 206. ISBN 9780671725822. ; also in Carner, Gary (1996). Carner, Gary. ed. The Miles Davis companion: four decades of commentary. Schirmer Books. p. 218. ISBN 9780028646121. 
      • Try taking the fucking horn out of your mouth.
        • In Garment, Leonard (2001). Crazy Rhythm: From Brooklyn and Jazz to Nixon's White House, Watergate, and Beyond. Da Capo Press. p. 406. ISBN 9780786752270. , Szwed, John (2012). So What: The Life of Miles Davis. Random House. ISBN 9781448106462. , , and in many other books
  • Don't play what's there, play what's not there.
    • In SPIN (December 1990). p. 30, and in many other sources, but I can't find the original one.

Except for the last quotation, I've added some sources at level three and/or four of the list. –pjoef (talkcontribs) 11:03, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

You seem to have good sources, so you should add these quotes to the article.--Abramsky (talk) 12:44, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
Most quotes, source and comments are moved back to the article, and arranged in a chronological structure. -- Mdd (talk) 13:35, 26 May 2014 (UTC)