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Thursday, March 14, 2024

Do not fear mistakes, there are none.

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Miles Davis

Musical virtuoso Miles Davis assembled some of history’s most venerable jazz ensembles. Unbeknownst to audiences, he could also mentor his fellow musicians midway through a world-famous trumpet solo. Pianist Herbie Hancock — a member of Davis’ Second Great Quintet — fondly recalled one such instance. During a 1960s concert in Stuttgart, Germany, Hancock played what he judged as a very pronounced wrong chord. Covering his ears, he feared he had “reduced that great night to rubble.” An innate improviser, Davis responded with a series of notes that made Hancock’s chord sound intentional. “He did what any jazz musician should always try to do, and that is to make anything that happens into something of value,” Hancock said. It reminds us that so-called missteps are often just what we need to blaze a new trail.

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