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Davis proceeded to improve his understanding of music after a drummer he played with around this time suggested Davis play a passage from the previous night, yet Davis was unable to comprehend what he meant. I went and got everything, every book I could get to learn about theory".

In 1943, at Buchanan's recommendation and Cawthon's persuasion, Davis filled a vacant spot in Eddie Randle's Rhumboogie Orchestra, also known as the Blue Devils, and eventually became its musical director which involved the scheduling of rehearsals and hiring newcomers. In July 1944, Billy Eckstine and his big band, which featured Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, and Art Blakey, visited St. They needed a stand-in after third trumpeter Buddy Anderson was too ill to attend.

Davis later criticized the school's classes for centering too much on the classical European and "white" repertoire, but credited the institution for his education in music theory and improving his trumpet playing technique.

He performed sold-out concerts worldwide while branching out into visual arts, film, and television work, before his death in 1991 from the combined effects of a stroke, pneumonia and respiratory failure.

Louis Lincoln High School, where he joined the school's marching band directed by Buchanan and entered music competitions.

Davis claimed the contests he did not win were largely due to prejudice over his race, but said that such experiences made him a better musician.

After Gillespie split from Parker's quintet in 1945, Davis took his place in October and the group performed a residency at various clubs on 52nd Street.

On November 26, Davis took part in several recording sessions as part of Parker's group Reboppers that also involved Gillespie and Roach, displaying hints of the style he would become known for.

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