“From early in his career, Miles was obsessed with the idea that a single note could convey all the beauty of music.
That idea started to take form in his one-off recordings from the late 1940s, when to most Americans he was nothing special — just another fast-blowing sideman who’d once played with Charlie Parker.
Jobs were scarce and he drifted around, on the cusp of celebrity but not truly finding it until he moved to Paris in 1949, where he was hailed as a jazz god. When he returned to the U.S., the contrast was unbearable, and Miles’ career almost went permanently off the rails.
Broke, bored and frustrated by a lack of creative momentum, he turned to heroin — a period in his life he would later call “a four-year horror show.”
Via Those Dark Horses, which I’m becoming a little bit obsessed with.