Unpublished Photos Of Miles Davis, 1958

Here are some previously unpublished photos of Miles Davis leading his band in 1958. You know, the classic first quintet, with John Coltrane. No big deal.

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LIFE magazine photographer Robert Kelley apparently didn't think that much of it. On May 14, 1958 he shot a few rolls of film, and submitted them with only very basic notes: the date, the city (New York) and the subject's name, "Miles Davis." (No club is listen, but a quick scan of the online Miles Davis Discography shows a few bootlegs and airchecks from the Cafe Bohemia before and after that time.)

If you're a Miles Davis fan — and which jazz fan isn't? — it is something of a big deal. This is around the time of classic albums like Milestones and Porgy And Bess and Cannonball Adderley's Somethin' Else, featuring Miles. It was less than a year away from recording the famous Kind Of Blue. So there's that. But also dig how Miles cracks that famously stolid facade in the shot where he's sticking his tongue out at us. Lookit! He's a goofball sometimes too, huh?

These photos come to us from LIFE.com. At the gallery on their site, there are more unpublished photos. Have a gander. [LIFE: UNPUBLISHED: Miles Davis, 1958]


Related At NPR Music: On this, Miles' 85th birthday anniversary, you may want to spend some time exploring the NPR Music Miles Davis archive too.

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