As a pianist, he applied the classical influences of his teacher, the French master Darius Milhaud, to jazz, playing with an elegance of tone and phrase that supposedly were the antithesis of the American sound.
As a humanist, he was at the forefront of integration, playing black jazz clubs throughout the deep South in the ’50s, a point of pride for him.
"For as long as I’ve been playing jazz, people have been trying to pigeonhole me,” he once told the Tribune.
"Frankly, labels bore me."
Miles Davis, 1958 via LIFE