Z2 Comics announced 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. The graphic novel will be released by Z2 Comics on November 7th, 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 November 7th 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.