Kind of Blue

Kind of Blue

4.8 49
by Miles Davis
     
 

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Kind of magnificent! Kind of Blue has been called the greatest jazz album ever made so often that you're reluctant to believe it. Believe it. Five songs -- "So What," "Freddie Freeloader," "Blue in Green," "All Blues," and "Flamenco Sketches" -- four of them hovering around 10 minutes (taking advantage of the still-recent LP format) , and every oneSee more details below

Overview

Kind of magnificent! Kind of Blue has been called the greatest jazz album ever made so often that you're reluctant to believe it. Believe it. Five songs -- "So What," "Freddie Freeloader," "Blue in Green," "All Blues," and "Flamenco Sketches" -- four of them hovering around 10 minutes (taking advantage of the still-recent LP format) , and every one a masterpiece. Recorded in 1959 at a pivot point in jazz history --improvising over chords was giving way to the album's pioneering use of improvising over scales (or modes), and the abstractions of the '60s were brewing -- it includes everything good about the past 40 years and presages everything good about the next 40. Cool, calm, and concise, with some of jazz's most influential figures at their most potent (including Bill Evans, who also wrote the excellent liner notes, John Coltrane, and Cannonball Adderley), Kind of Blue is perfection. The latest reissue has better sound, extra liner notes, and an alternate take of "Flamenco Sketches." All unnecessary.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Kind of Blue isn't merely an artistic highlight for Miles Davis, it's an album that towers above its peers, a record generally considered as the definitive jazz album, a universally acknowledged standard of excellence. Why does Kind of Blue possess such a mystique? Perhaps because this music never flaunts its genius. It lures listeners in with the slow, luxurious bassline and gentle piano chords of "So What." From that moment on, the record never really changes pace -- each tune has a similar relaxed feel, as the music flows easily. Yet Kind of Blue is more than easy listening. It's the pinnacle of modal jazz -- tonality and solos build from the overall key, not chord changes, giving the music a subtly shifting quality. All of this doesn't quite explain why seasoned jazz fans return to this record even after they've memorized every nuance. They return because this is an exceptional band -- Miles, Coltrane, Bill Evans, Cannonball Adderley, Paul Chambers, Jimmy Cobb -- one of the greatest in history, playing at the peak of its power. As Evans said in the original liner notes for the record, the band did not play through any of these pieces prior to recording. Davis laid out the themes before the tape rolled, and then the band improvised. The end results were wondrous and still crackle with vitality. Kind of Blue works on many different levels. It can be played as background music, yet it amply rewards close listening. It is advanced music that is extraordinarily enjoyable. It may be a stretch to say that if you don't like Kind of Blue, you don't like jazz -- but it's hard to imagine it as anything other than a cornerstone of any jazz collection.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/25/1997
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0074646493526
catalogNumber:
64935
Rank:
13635

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Miles Davis   Primary Artist,Trumpet,Leader
Cannonball Adderley   Alto Saxophone
Bill Evans   Piano
Wynton Kelly   Piano
Jimmy Cobb   Drums
Paul Chambers   Bass,Double Bass
John Coltrane   Tenor Saxophone

Technical Credits

Robert Palmer   Liner Notes
Bill Evans   Composer,Liner Notes,Original Liner Notes
Steven Berkowitz   Reissue Series
Michael Cuscuna   Reissue Producer
Kevin Gore   Reissue Series
Nat Hentoff   Liner Notes
Larry Keyes   Producer
Teo Macero   Producer
Fred Plaut   Engineer
Irving Townsend   Audio Production
Mark Wilder   Engineer,Remixing
Cozbi Sanchez-Cabrera   Art Direction
Jay Maisel   Cover Photo
Randall Martin   Reissue Design
Robert Palmer   Liner Notes
Jennifer Ebert   Packaging Manager

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