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Kind of Blue

Miles Davis

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iTunes Editors’ Notes

The essence of great art is that its power is inexplicable, and in the jazz stratos there's never been anything like this 1959 session. It reigns to this day as the genre's greatest hit and the most coherent album length statement in modern jazz history. Based on scales (modes) rather than chord changes, the five tracks here were recorded in one take without any prior rehearsal, and the cool blue electric spontaneity gives these gossamer lanterns—what pianist Bill Evans called in the liner notes a "direct deed”—a freedom that's pure magic. The sax chairs were majestically filled by John Coltrane on tenor and Julian "Cannonball" Adderley on alto, both playing at their most ethereal. Longtime Miles bassist Paul Chambers joined stalwart drummer Jimmy Cobb in the rhythm section, and two of the greatest jazz pianists ever, Wynton Kelly (only on "Freddie Freeloader") and particularly Evans play brilliantly yet with a smooth,enchanting chill. The result is a collection of modern jazz' greatest moments. For experts and novices alike, "So What's" spidery opening exchange between Chambers and Evans has come to symbolize jazz incarnate. Ditto the entirety of "Freddie Freeloader," and the gorgeous and underrated "Flamingo Sketches" is Miles and the band at their most tender and introspective. Modern jazz starts here.

Customer Reviews

Quintessential Jazz

I'll keep this short and sweet, because iTunes seems to be deleting all of the reviews/ratings from classic albums.

One of the greatest pieces of music ever made. It doesn't matter if you're a jazz fanatic or have never listened to it in your life, buy this album. Nuff said.

Kind Of Blue

I think this music vibrates in harmony with the fundamental frequency of life!

My First Jazz Album

I recently purchased Davis' "Kind of Blue" and am glad it's my first foray into jazz. It's been hailed as the father of modern jazz, and it's chocolate-smooth rhythms, disciplined horns, tight but mellow grooves, and overall gentle compentence makes this 1959 effort a true classic and an historic watershed in American music. It's stately beauty and unrivaled skill creeps up on you and fills the heart with soulful sounds, made possible by the unique and peerless instrumentalists, including the great sax god John Coltrain. In it, I hear all the jazz that came after, encapsulated in this once in a lifetime jam session.


Born: May 26, 1926 in Alton, IL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Throughout a professional career lasting 50 years, Miles Davis played the trumpet in a lyrical, introspective, and melodic style, often employing a stemless Harmon mute to make his sound more personal and intimate. But if his approach to his instrument was constant, his approach to jazz was dazzlingly protean. To examine his career is to examine the history of jazz from the mid-'40s to the early '90s, since he was in the thick of almost every important innovation and stylistic development in the...
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