Miles Davis at Isle of Wight Festival, 1970

Amelia Davis:“It’s very rare to have a photo of Miles Davis smiling. Jim first saw Miles Davis in 1960 at the Monterey Jazz Festival and he had always wanted to meet Miles. He went up to him and said 'Hey Miles, I’m Jim Marshall' and Miles just looked at him and Jim said 'Why do you have a green trumpet?' Miles looked at Jim and said 'Hey motherfucker, I didn’t ask why you have a black camera.' Jim was terrified. Jim walked away and he didn’t see Miles again or really go up and talk to him until 5 years later. He was like this guy is freaking the shit out of me and that’s kind of hard to do to Jim because you know, Jim carried guns and knives so it was funny.

 

Jim said 'Why do you have a green trumpet?' Miles looked at Jim and said 'Hey motherfucker, I didn’t ask why you have a black camera.'

 

“He was determined to make friends with Miles Davis so Miles Davis loved John Coltrane and Jim knew that. It was that one famous shot of John Coltrane that Miles Davis really knew and loved and Jim knew that. So he made a print for Miles and again, went up to him after a show and was surrounded by people. Jim said 'Hey Miles I have a present for you' and Miles was like 'Leave me alone.' So Jim forced his way up there and gave it to Miles Davis and started walking away and Miles opened the package and goes 'Hey Marshall' and Jim turned around and he goes “What’s this” and Jim goes 'It’s a present for you.' Miles said 'For me?' and Jim said 'Yeah' and Miles said 'It’s John Coltrane, I love the guy.' Jim said “I know!” and Miles goes 'Well who took it?' and Jim goes “I did” and he looked at him and said 'Why don’t you take pictures of me like this?' and Jim goes 'Why don’t you let me?'

"From that point on Jim had full access to Miles Davis and photographed him and again, was one of the very few photographers that was able to capture Miles Davis at an unguarded moment where he’s smiling.I think he just captured him in an unguarded moment."