How Miles Davis’ Jazz Taught Me To Write More Simple Potent Sentences

Aaron Gilbreath
5 min readJan 4, 2020

The Jazz Giant’s Unintended Lessons in Literary Brevity

If Miles Davis’s midcentury trumpet solos can be described by a single phrase, it might be “doing more with less.” Despite his renown, Davis wasn’t a flashy or highly technical player during the late 1950s and early ’60s. He was melodic and economical, and his approach can teach prose…

Aaron Gilbreath

Essayist, Journalist, Burritoist. Longreads Editor. Writing: Harper’s, NYT, Slate, Paris Review, VQR, Oxford American, Kenyon Review. 3 nonfiction books.