Miles Dewey Davis III (May 26, 1926 September 28, 1991) was one of the most influential and innovative musicians of the 20th century. A trumpeter, bandleader and composer, Davis was at the forefront of almost every major development in jazz after World War II. He played on some of the important early bebop records and recorded the first cool jazz records. He was partially responsible for the development of modal jazz, and jazz fusion arose from his work with other musicians in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Free jazz was the only post-war style not significantly influenced by Davis, although some musicians from his bands later pursued this style. His recordings, along with the live performances of his many influential bands, were vital in jazz's acceptance as music with lasting artistic value. A popularizer as well as an innovator, Davis became famous for his languid, melodic style and his laconic, and at times confrontational, personality. As an increasingly well-paid and fashionably-dressed jazz musician, Davis was also a symbol of jazz music's commercial potential.
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