Birth of the Cool: How Jazz Great Miles Davis Found His Sound

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From his early days in East St. Louis, Miles Davis listens to the swinging sounds of jazz playing on the radio. Even as a child, music means more to him than sports. At age thirteen, he receives a trumpet and takes lessons from teacher Elwood Buchanan. In high school, Miles never seems to get the rewards the white kids do. “They play loud, but I got the soul.” Miles sets out for NYC to learn Bebop, a new form of jazz, and plays with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. He attends Juilliard by day and plays downtown at night. But he still hasn’t found his own trumpet sound. Inspired by his childhood home and the NYC jazz scene, Miles experiments like a scientist until he invents a new way of playing.

Birth of the Cool is the story of how Miles Davis created his unique style of jazz. Davis is known today as a creative genius, but Kathleen Cornell Berman brings to life a man who struggled to find his own authentic sound. The quotes sprinkled throughout the book insert Miles’s own voice into the story. Keith Henry Brown’s artwork helps the man and his music transcend the page.


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Author Kathleen Cornell Berman, illus. by Keith Henry Brown
Star Count 3.5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 40 pages
Publisher Page Street Kids
Publish Date 2019-05-20
ISBN 9781624146909
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue June 2019
Category Children's
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