Visionary Cartoonist and Jazz Scholar Dave Chisholm Charts Four Decades of the Legendary Trumpeter’s journey working directly with the Davis Family
Dave’s vision of Miles’ journey for his sound is something Miles would’ve loved to see. I know he would’ve been so curious to see his life portrayed through the lens only graphic novels can impart. Dave, being a trumpet player and graphic artist, has a keen take on Miles’ long journey.—Erin Davis, From his Introduction
In 1959, Miles Davis released the best-selling jazz album of all time, Kind Of Blue. Now, on the anniversary of his birth, Z2 is proud to announce Miles Davis and the Search for the Sound, an innovative and stunning exploration of the musical pioneer’s winding, exhilarating life and the intoxicating music that followed. Miles Davis and the Search for the Sound has a street date of September 26, 2023.
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.
“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.”
“Dave Chisholm has captured the struggle, the genius, and the complexity of Miles Davis in this book. Each page brings the energy of his music to life with the same kinetic fluidity of Miles’ compositions,” Z2 Editor-in-Chief Rantz Hoseley continues. “This is a powerful story that pulls you deep within, whether you’re a lifelong fan or new to the lasting influence and innovation of this jazz icon.”
Z2 Comics will release Miles Davis and the Search for the Sound on September 26, 2023 in standard hardcover and deluxe hardcover editions. The deluxe hardcover will be packaged with three art prints illustrated by Dave Chisholm and a limited-edition Miles Davis split 7” of Miles Runs The Voodoo Down and Spanish Key, with new art by Dave Chisholm. The Gold editions will be signed and numbered by Dave Chisholm and come with a set of accordion-style postcards with original paintings from Miles Davis and the split 7” of Miles Runs The Voodoo Down and Spanish Key will feature an exclusive colorway. Finally there will be only 10 of 10 Platinum editions of Miles Davis and the Search for the Sound and these will come with a 360° spinning Miles Davis Limited-Edition 3D sculpture, a Miles Davis T-shirt designed by Dave Chisholm and a split 7” of Miles Runs The Voodoo Down and Spanish Key on clear vinyl.
About Miles Davis
Miles Davis made music with an uncanny talent to hear the future and a headstrong desire to play it. From his beginnings in the circle of modern jazz, he came to intuit new worlds of sound and challenge. While the vast majority of musicians – jazz, rock, R&B, otherwise – find the experimental charge and imperviousness of youth eventually running down, Miles forever forged ahead. In doing so, Miles became the standard bearer for successive generations of musicians, shaped the course of modern improvisational music more than a half-dozen times.
About Dave Chisholm
Dave Chisholm is a graphic novelist and musician currently living in Rochester, NY, where he received his doctorate in jazz trumpet from the Eastman School of Music in 2013. His expertise in music, as well as his formal inventiveness within the comics medium, has resulted in a string of critically-acclaimed music-centric graphic novels including Enter the Blue (2022, Z2 Comics), Chasin’ the Bird: Charlie Parker in California (2020, Z2 Comics), and the groundbreaking graphic novel + original soundtrack Instrumental (2017, Z2 Comics). In his newest work, Miles Davis and the Search for the Sound, Chisholm portrays the life of Miles Davis, one of his oldest musical heroes, in a kaleidoscopic array of visual styles that represent Davis’ famously varied oeuvre.
Hailed by ComicsBeat as “one of the most exciting comic auteurs working in comics today,” Chisholm also has a passion for education and teaches comics and music at the Hochstein School and the Rochester Institute of Technology. In his free time, Dave enjoys spending time with his wife Elise. They are expecting their first child in July 2023.
About Z2 Comics
Recently dubbed the “Hottest brand in music” by Forbes, Z2 Comics has quickly become the premier destination for authentic graphic novels and collectibles, created in partnership with top-tier artists, musicians and pop-culture icons. Distributed globally via Simon & Schuster, Z2 has produced 50-plus unique graphic novel properties, collaborating with Gorillaz , Blondie, Elvis Presley, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Pantera, Tori Amos, Last Podcast On The Left, Emily Hampshire, Balmain Paris, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Jason Derulo, The Grateful Dead, Machine Gun Kelly, Sublime, Beethoven, RZA, Mötley Crüe, Vince Staples, Cheech & Chong, The Doors, Anthrax, Public Enemy, Ronnie James Dio, King Diamond, All Time Low, Ivan Moody, Yungblud, Cypress Hill, Babymetal, Major Lazer, RZA, Alter Bridge, Sturgill Simpson, Poppy, John Lee Hooker, and Charlie “Bird” Parker. Learn more at Z2comics.com, and follow us on Instagram (@z2comics) and Twitter (@z2comics).