Z2 Comics has released a number of critically-acclaimed graphic novels from cartoonist and musician Dave Chisholm over the past few years, from the music-themed fiction GN Enter the Blue to the graphic biography of iconic saxophonist Charlie Parker Chasin’ The Bird. Now Chisholm will bring the life of another trumpeter to the comics page, as Z2 has announced Miles Davis and the Search for the Sound. Created in partnership with Davis’s family, the book tells the story of four decades in Parker’s life as he discovers and refines his signature sound.
Here’s how Z2 describes Miles Davis and the Search for the Sound:
The graphic novel chronicles Davis’ journey from his childhood in Illinois to mastering jazz improvisation throughout the ’40s, ‘50s, and ‘60s. These formative experiences led him to redefine the form again and again, culminating into the psychedelic frontiers of afro futurism throughout the ‘70s and beyond. Cartoonist Dave Chisholm, who received his doctorate in Jazz Trumpet from the Eastman School of Music, takes readers on a meticulously researched odyssey charting this dynamic figure’s musical evolution. Throughout, Chisholm centers on the one obsession threaded throughout Davis’ sprawling career: a restless search for the sound. A search that shattered and redefined the limits of what jazz—and music—could be.
Featuring narration adapted from Davis’ own words and a shifting palette of visual styles that mirrors Davis’ famously varied oeuvre, this 150-page graphic novel follows Davis through four decades of musical innovation and ever-escalating obstacles.
Chisholm frames the narrative around Davis’ recovery from a stroke in 1982. With Davis unable to play his trumpet, his medical team urged him to regain coordination by scratching out patterns and scribbles with a pencil on paper. From there, the story hurdles back in time to the icon’s quest to find a mysterious tone he once heard on a moonlit country road in his childhood.
As with all Z2 releases, Miles Davis and the Search for the Sound will be available in a number of formats. A standard hardcover edition is joined by a deluxe hardcover that includes three prints of artwork by Chisholm as well as an exclusive 7″ of “Miles Runs the Voodoo Down” and “Spanish Key,” both of which are off of Davis’s iconic album Bitches Brew. A gold edition of the book will also be available, signed by Chisholm and including the 7″ with exclusive artwork as well as a set of postcards featuring artwork by Davis himself. Additionally a platinum edition, extremely limited to just 10 copies available, will also be released, which will feature the book, the 7″ on clear vinyl, a bust of Davis, and a t-shirt designed by Chisholm.
In a statement announcing his latest book, Chisholm described his life-long relationship with Davis’s music:
“Davis’ music has truly been a lifelong obsession of mine, inspiring me to pursue jazz trumpet in college and beyond—Sketches of Spain is the first music I ever remember hearing, and I even had the opportunity to perform all of the music he and Gil Evans did together at the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, Italy,” Chisholm explains. “Miles continually inspires me to pursue stylistic change as an artist, both visually and musically. This is the book I’ve always dreamt of creating; it’s the biggest honor of my professional life to be given this opportunity by the Davis family.”
Check out an exclusive first look at one of Chisholm’s prints, which will accompany the book’s deluxe edition hardcover, below. Miles Davis and the Search for the Sound is up for preorder now, and is set to arrive in stores on September 26th.
This will of course be fantastic! I’m still shocked that Dave Chisholm’s 2022 excellent graphic novel, Enter The Blue got zero Eisner nominations, almost the same thing happened with his Chasin’ The bird Charlie Parker The California Years.
Very excited to read this, as all of Chisholm’s work is aces. But please note an error in the lede graf: Charlie Parker played saxophone, not trumpet!
Gah, I swear I knew that :-) I’ve updated the post. Thank you!
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