Synopses & Reviews
Quincy Troupe's candid account of his friendship with Miles Davis is a revealing portrait of a great musician and an intimate study of a unique relationship. It is also an engrossing chronicle of the author's own development, both artistic and personal. As Davis's collaborator on Miles: The Autobiography,
Troupe--one of the major poets to emerge from the 1960s--had exceptional access to the musician. This memoir goes beyond the life portrayed in the autobiography to describe in detail the processes of Davis's spectacular creativity and the joys and difficulties his passionate, contradictory temperament posed to the men's friendship. It shows how Miles Davis, both as a black man and an artist, influenced not only Quincy Troupe but whole generations.
Troupe has written that Miles Davis was "irascible, contemptuous, brutally honest, ill-tempered when things didn't go his way, complex, fair-minded, humble, kind and a son-of-a-bitch." The author's love and appreciation for Davis make him a keen, though not uncritical, observer. He captures and conveys the power of the musician's presence, the mesmerizing force of his personality, and the restless energy that lay at the root of his creativity. He also shows Davis's lighter side: cooking, prowling the streets of Manhattan, painting, riding his horse at his Malibu home. Troupe discusses Davis's musical output, situating his albums in the context of the times--both political and musical--out of which they emerged. Miles and Me is an unparalleled look at the act of creation and the forces behind it, at how the innovations of one person can inspire both those he knows and loves and the world at large.
"If there is a genius in music in the 20th century, it's Miles Davis, and no one has gotten more involved in his life and his music than the poet Quincy Troupe."and#151;Barbara Christian, University of California, Berkeley
"Brilliant, poetic, provocative, Quincy Troupe's Miles and Me reveals the man behind the dark glasses and legend."and#151;Ishmael Reed, author of Mumbo Jumbo
About the Author
Quincy Troupe is Professor of Literature at the University of California, San Diego, and author of thirteen books. Two of his books, Miles: The Autobiography (1989) and Snake-Back Solos (1979), have won the American Book Award. He also wrote James Baldwin: The Legacy (1989), Avalanche (1996), Choruses (1999), and Take it to the Hoop Magic Johnson (2000). In 2002, he was named Poet Laureate of the State of California by the California Arts Council.