Philatelists take note! On June 12, the U.S. Postal Service unveils the Miles Davis stamp, a new offering in partnership with France's La Poste that features side by side images of Davis, and French chanteuse Édith Piaf.
This is not the first time the post office of either country has issued stamps honouring musicians, but it is a rare enough event that an appropriate pause to savour the moment seems in order.
CBC Music invited comments on the stamp from prominent artists who performed and recorded with Davis through the years. Ron Carter, Jack DeJohnette, Mike Stern, John McLaughlin and George Duke told CBC Music their thoughts on the Miles Davis stamp, and we share some classic Davis recordings they had a hand in creating.
Comment from bassist Ron Carter
“I think that this postage stamp is a reminder of how important Miles Davis's music was and is to the world.”
"E.S.P." is the title track of the 1965 recording of the Miles Davis Quintet, which included Carter, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock and Tony Williams.
Comment from drummer Jack DeJohnette
“I consider this an appropriate tribute to a great icon. It is good to know he and everything he represents musically is being acknowledged in this way.”
DeJohnette collaborated with Miles Davis on the iconic 1970 album Bitches Brew. DeJohnette appears in this live performance of "Sanctuary" from that release.
Comment from guitarist Mike Stern
"It would be great to see a jazz musician on a stamp. Can I get a free roll?"
Miles Davis gave guitarist Mike Stern the nickname “Fat Time,” which has stuck. It also become the name of a tune with a much studied and admired guitar solo.
Comment from guitarist John McLaughlin
"As a musician who played with Miles Davis for quite a few years, in my opinion it's about time Miles had a stamp.In fact he should have had a stamp 50 years and a street named after him. The same applies to John Coltrane."
John McLaughlin's guitar features prominently on a number of recordings by Miles Davis including this track from the 1971 release, A Tribute to Jack Johnson.
Comment from keyboardist George Duke
"A stamp to honour Miles Davis is a great tribute to a great artist and innovator, one who changed the direction of jazz at least five times during his short life span."
George Duke appeared on some of Davis's final recordings, including Amandla, which includes the Duke composition "Cobra."
What do you think of the new Miles Davis stamp? If you could immortalize a jazz musician on a stamp, who would it be?
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on Jun 12, 2012