I'm always thinking about creating. My future starts when I wake up every morning... Every day I find something creative to do with my life.
Miles Davis (1926–1991), jazz musician
I woke up the other morning and I heard on National Public Radio (NPR) that it was 50 years [not exactly] since the making of Miles Davis landmark recording of Kind of Blue. I was shocked, not that I recall when it came out. Heck, I didn’t learn about it until I was years out of college, I am sure. But, the more you learn about the record and the recording session the more impressive it all becomes. The shocking aspect is that this CD is still as important as it was the day it was released.
For starters the musicians included Miles Davis on trumpet, John Coltran on tenor saxaphone, Cannonball Adderly on alto saxaphone, Wynton Kelley and Bill Evans on piano, Jimmy Cobb on drums, and Paul Chambers on bass, just about everyone in this sextet was a star in their own right, if not at that time, they eventually became big. Today, Jimmy Cobb, who is in his 80s is the lone surviving member of that CD. On The Mark and I were trading e-mails a few weeks ago about how great the CD “Somethin’” by Cannonball Adderly was and is.
Kind of Blue was recorded in two sessions at Columbia Records' 30th Street Studio in New York City, on March 2 for the tracks "So What", "Freddie Freeloader", and "Blue in Green", composing side one of the original LP, and April 22 for the tracks "Flamenco Sketches", "All Blues", making up side two. (source: Wikipedia)
Still acknowledged as the height of hip four decades after it was recorded, Kind of Blue is the premier album of its era, jazz or otherwise. Its vapory piano- and- bass introduction is universally recognized. Classical buffs and rage rockers alike praise its subtlety, simplicity and emotional depth. Copies of the album are passed to friends and given to lovers. The album has sold millions of copies around the world, making it the best-selling recording in Miles Davis’ catalog and the best-selling classic jazz album ever. Significantly, a large number of those copies were purchased in the past five years, and undoubtedly not just by old-timers replacing worn vinyl: Kind of Blue is self-perpetuating, continuing to cast its spell on a younger audience more accustomed to the loud-and-fast aesthetic of rock and rap. (source “Kind of Blue, the Making of the Miles Davis Masterpiece” by Ashley Kahn)
"Kind of Blue" is known as modal jazz. In a modal jazz song, improvisations are based on individual scales or modes rather than on the overall key of a piece. The result is a song that contains fewer chord changes and allows more time and freedom for melodic improvisation. In essence, it's about a return to melody. (source: Modaljazz.com)
This is a CD worth having in your collection. Once you have listened to it a few times, you’ll soon recognize it in restaurants, stores and in the movies.