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Miles and MeMiles and Me


Quincy Troupe

A George Gund Foundation Book in African American Studies

Narrated by Richard Allen

Approximately 8 hours


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Book published by University of California Press

Quincy Troupe's candid account of his friendship with Miles Davis is a revealing portrait of a great musician and an intimate study of a unique relationship. It is also an engrossing chronicle of the author's own development, both artistic and personal. As Davis's collaborator on Miles: The Autobiography,Troupe—one of the major poets to emerge from the 1960s—had exceptional access to the musician. This memoir goes beyond the life portrayed in the autobiography to describe in detail the processes of Davis's spectacular creativity and the joys and difficulties his passionate, contradictory temperament posed to the men's friendship. It shows how Miles Davis, both as a black man and an artist, influenced not only Quincy Troupe but whole generations.

Troupe has written that Miles Davis was "irascible, contemptuous, brutally honest, ill-tempered when things didn't go his way, complex, fair-minded, humble, kind and a son-of-a-bitch." The author's love and appreciation for Davis make him a keen, though not uncritical, observer. He captures and conveys the power of the musician's presence, the mesmerizing force of his personality, and the restless energy that lay at the root of his creativity. He also shows Davis's lighter side: cooking, prowling the streets of Manhattan, painting, riding his horse at his Malibu home. Troupe discusses Davis's musical output, situating his albums in the context of the times—both political and musical—out of which they emerged. Miles and Me is an unparalleled look at the act of creation and the forces behind it, at how the innovations of one person can inspire both those he knows and loves and the world at large.

Quincy Troupe is Professor of Literature at the University of California, San Diego, and author of thirteen books. Two of his books, Miles: The Autobiography (1989) and Snake-Back Solos (1979), have won the American Book Award. He also wrote James Baldwin: The Legacy (1989), Avalanche (1996), Choruses (1999), and Take it to the Hoop Magic Johnson (2000). In 2002, he was named Poet Laureate of the State of California by the California Arts Council.

Richard Allen (narrator) has narrated dozens of audiobooks for major companies and is the winner of multiple Earphones Awards (AudioFile).


“Using refreshingly unscholarly language, poet and literature professor Troupe paints an aptly minimalist portrait of the artist as a man-child in both his musical curiosity and his irrational tantrums. Miles and Me is witheringly honest and deeply perceptive. A must-read for Davis devotees.”

Entertainment Weekly

“Pithy and succinct (one wishes he had written twice as much), Troupe continues to flesh out and demystify Davis in this follow-up to their collaboration, Miles: The Autobiography. Filled with 'Milesian' humor and off-color language (those sensitive to gratuitous swearing may find this an arduous read), Troupe's book reveals Davis as profoundly, artistically sensitive yet maddeningly mean spirited and rude.”

Library Journal

“Troupe seems to have penetrated the jazz legend's prickly exterior. Miles and Me seduces with hilariously mundane anecdotes.”


“Both a revealing look at a musical genius and a tender, surprisingly sweet remembrance of a good but demanding friend.”


“[Troupe] gives the stories behind the collaboration, from his own introduction to Davis's music in the 1950s—and to Davis's stature as 'an unreconstructed black man'—up to Davis's death in 1991.”

New York Times Book Review

“Many memoirs of friendships with famous people tend toward the sycophantic and predictable, but Quincy Troupe's Miles and Me is a vivid, complicated tribute to the legendary jazz musician.”

Chicago Tribune

Miles and Me attempts to give the legend and public persona of Miles Davis a human face. But the book's finest moments occur when Troupe reveals his own reactions to the personality-and especially the music-of Miles.”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Introduces us to the moody genius of the jazz trumpeter and paints a candid portrait-full of imperfections and color-that gives us a rare window into Davis' world.”

Ebony Magazine

“An indispensable and entertaining look at the musical giant in his more mundane moments.”

Kansas City Star

“It has been said that Miles Davis was a great poet on his instrument. In a similar vein, it can be said that Quincy Troupe is a great instrument in his poetic delivery. As fate would have it, these two very talented individuals would form a mutual and intriguing bond. Miles and Me, Quincy Troupe's latest book, is an honest, serious and sometimes hilarious memoir of his warm and cherished friendship with Miles Davis.”

—Larvester Gaither, QBR The Black Book Review

“If there is a genius in music in the 20th century, it's Miles Davis, and no one has gotten more involved in his life and his music than the poet Quincy Troupe.”

—Barbara Christian, University of California, Berkeley

“Brilliant, poetic, provocative, Quincy Troupe's Miles and Me reveals the man behind the dark glasses and legend.”

—Ishmael Reed, author of Mumbo Jumbo

“Troupe is a wonderfully astute judge of human behavior and brings a poet's acuteness of vision to depicting Davis's aura of intimidation and kingly power. He is also well aware of Davis's deeply felt loneliness, the terrible solitude of genius.”

Kirkus Reviews



1. Meeting Miles

2. Up Close and Personal

3. Listening to Miles

4. Saying Good-bye


All titles are published by:
University Press Audiobooks
an imprint of Redwood Audiobooks

University Press Audiobooks