Statement: Miles Davis hated improv.
Ruling: Myth. Miles Davis famously loved incorporating melodic improvisations in both his live and studio work.
Statement: Miles Davis made his 1971 album, “A Tribute to Jack Johnson” because he loved the smooth sounds of Jack’s song “Banana Pancakes” so much.
Ruling: Myth. Miles Davis’ album “A Tribute to Jack Johnson” was actually dedicated to Jack Johnson, the first African-American boxer to be crowned World Heavyweight Champion. He is often called one of the most influential boxers of all time. Singer-songwriter Jack Johnson hadn’t even been born yet.
Statement: Miles Davis’ career led to the discovery of acoustic soft-beach rocker Jack Johnson.
Ruling: Myth. Again, no. While Miles Davis’ numerous bands famously led to the discoveries of many legendary musicians including Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, and Ron Carter, there is no evidence that Miles Davis knew of Jack Johnson’s existence—he was a 16-year-old living in Hawaii at the time of Mr. Davis’ death.
Statement: Miles Davis fucking loved long-form improv, specifically the UCB group ASSSSCAT.
Ruling: Myth. There is no evidence that Miles Davis expressed an opinion on the UCB improv show, or any comedic improv show for that matter. If Miles really “fucking loved” long-form improv, we believe there would be some sort of record on the subject.
Statement: Miles Davis’ album, “A Tribute to Jack Johnson” is not a tribute to Hawaii’s favorite laidback guitarist, Jack Johnson…
Ruling: Fact. That is correct! As I said previously, that album is dedicated to the famous boxer.
Statement: …Miles’ eighth album, “Seven Steps to Heaven,” was his tribute and prophecy of Jack Johnson. With each of the seven steps representing one of Jack Johnson’s studio albums.
Ruling: Myth. I spoke too soon. That is categorically false.
Statement: Miles Davis’s career in Europe never completely took off because there was already a popular European alto saxophone player named Kilometers Davis.
Ruling: Myth. Miles enjoyed a successful career throughout the world and even recorded a live album titled, “In Europe.” A cursory google search for “Kilometers Davis” resulted in the number of kilometers between my location and UC Davis.
Statement: Miles Davis ended his recording career after hearing the opening track to Jack Johnson’s first album, “Brushfire Fairytales,” and realized it was time to pass the tiki torch to the person many people, including Miles himself, called the Hawaiian Miles Davis.
Ruling: Go to Hell.
Statement: Miles Davis continually changed his backing bands in a search for the perfect musicians to complement his ever-changing sound. He changed his band to an all-acoustic ensemble after hearing the Grammy-nominated song for Best Male Vocal Performance, “Sitting, Waiting, Wishing,” by Kilometers Davis, who would later go on to be called “Jack Johnson.”
Ruling: I’m begging you to stop.
Statement: “Kind of Blue” is Miles Davis’ magnum opus.
Ruling: Fact/Myth. Oh, wow. While it is my favorite, this is just an opinion, but one that many share. The jazz-fusion album, “Bitches Brew,” is also quite frequently referred to as his best album, although some critics do not classify the eclectic album as strictly jazz.
Statement: “But “Kind of Blue” is still nothing compared to “Sexy Plexi” by my boy J.J., a.k.a. “Kilometers Davis.” That’s a direct quote from Miles.
Ruling: How are you doing this? Why are you doing this? None of that was a quote! For the last time. Miles Davis never knew who Jack Johnson (born 1975), the singer, was. His album “A Tribute to Jack Johnson” was the soundtrack to the documentary about Jack Johnson (born 1878), the influential boxer. There is no connective tissue between Miles Davis’ soundtrack album and the lo-fi laidback melodies of Mr. Jack Johnson!
Statement: You’re wrong. Miles Davis loved surf-rocker Jack “the Hawaiian Miles Davis” (a.k.a. Km.D.) Johnson. Even the “A Tribute to Jack Johnson” Wikipedia page says so.
Ruling: You can’t cite your own Jack Johnson blog “Internet Traffic in the Sky” as a source, user: MilesDavisStannedJackJohnsonTheSinger420!
Statement: Miles Davis was inspired to record his first soundtrack album, “A Tribute to Jack Johnson,” after hearing Jack Johnson’s album “Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the Film Curious George.”
Ruling: I bet this shit never happens to the John Coltrane historians.
Statement: Miles Davis initially bonded with John Coltrane over their love of the dynamic live album “En Concert…”
Ruling: Just… Just say it already.
Statement: …The first live album from Hawaii’s favorite son, Jack Johnson!
Ruling: I quit.