Miles Davis’s Reading List

As a Miles freak, I spent time not only listening to his music, but also reading every book on Miles I could get my hand on. Miles is probably one of the jazz geniuses that got the most ink. So here’s the list that I have read and loved. If you’re into Miles, you might want to check out some of them.

So What

While there are a handful of books on Miles’s life, Szwed’s is one of the most well-researched and thoughtful biography. Highly recommended if you want to read about the trumpeter’s story.

It’s About That Time

Cook uses Miles’s albums to write about his music and life. It’s a fascinating read.


Miles’s autobiography is simply hilarious. The book is filled profanity and braggadocio.

The Last Miles

Cole spent almost 450 pages covering every track from The Man With The Horn all the way up to Doo-Bop. A critical read on Miles’s late records.

Miles Beyond

Tingen’s insightful read on Miles Davis’s electric journey from 1967-1991.

Running the Voodoo Down

Freeman’s detailed analysis of the Prince of Darkness’s fusion albums including Bitches Brew, On the Corner and Doo-Bop.

The Blue Moment

Williams’s close study of Miles Davis’s monumental record and the music that record after.

Clawing at the Limits of Cool

Griffin and Washington’s draws an enlightening comparison between the musical innovation of Miles Davis and John Coltrane.

Kind of Blue

Kahn documented the recording sessions of one of the most influential jazz albums.

Flyboy in the Buttermilk

This is not a book on Miles, but Tate’s pieces on Electric Miles are must read.