The Man and the Trumpet

Mile Davis (May 26, 1926 - September 28, 1991)

One of the most influential figures ever to the history and development of jazz was Miles Davis. His many contributions to the different styles of jazz (bebop, modal, cool, fusion, etc.) are the forefront for the development for many new, creative styles of jazz and genres of music. His 1959 Kind of Blue record is considered to be one of the most influential records of all time, and is hailed as a true treasure of the jazz community. Davis is considered to be one of the most innovative musicians, both artistically and personally, in the history of jazz, and music for that matter. His music continues to inspire musicians around the globe, and his legacy lives on in the history of jazz and in the sounds of newly inspired musicians.

The Bird

"Don't play the saxophone. Let it play you."

- Charlie Parker

A Classic American Metaphor... Bleeding Gums Murphy

I love finding jazz references in cartoons and TV shows. One of my favorites was Lisa Simpson's saxophone mentor, Bleeding Gums Murphy.

Bleeding Gums Murphy was a reoccurring character on The Simpsons that befriended Lisa until his death. He had a very successful, yet short lived career where he recorded Sax on the Beach. Unfortunately, Murphy found himself broke and resorted to playing on top of a bridge in Springfield in the middle of most nights. This is a great homage paid to the great Sonny Rollins who used to play alone on the Williamsburg Bridge for three years after retiring publicly. For little Lisa Simpson, Bleeding Gums Murphy was the mentor that expanded her mind and her music much further than she could have imagined... much like what some have done for me.

Bleeding Gums Murphy was society's and the media's unique way of paying tribute to an important legend of our country's culture. I hadn't realized the representation of this character until learning about jazz and putting the two together. It truly is a special representation. Play on Jazz Man :)