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4.7 out of 5 stars405
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 21 March 2006
Just browsing through the Miles Davis products the other day, I was amazed to see that the average rating for "Kind of Blue" was only 4.5 stars. Intrigued as to what kind of person does not regard this album as truly exceptional, I scanned the reviews. Those that did not give the album five stars fell broadly into two categories. The first consisted of people who had no jazz records and, having read the reviews, thought this classic would be a good one to start a collection with only to discover that,oops,they don't like jazz.
The second group appeared to be afficianados with a slightly sniffy attitude who view the album as jazz for people who don't really like jazz. There is some truth in that as it is by far the most accesible Miles album to non jazz fans and was my starting point in an apppreciation of jazz and of Miles in particular.
The point of this review is to ask, beseech and implore the reader who does not own this album to ignore these reviews and BUY Kind of Blue immediately. Your life will not be same again.
1313 comments|220 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 14 December 2001
Referring to "Kind of Blue" as the best jazz album of all time might actually be doing it a disservice. Jazz is one of those complex artforms which many people shy away from, afraid that they will not be able to understand it. So extoling its virtues might frighten people even more. But "Kind of Blue" is simply beautiful music. When listening to it, you forget everything you might feel about jazz, whether good or bad, and can only listen to it, amazed and excited. Miles Davis has created something so powerful yet full of simple, memorable melodies. Every note takes you further into that state where you simply hush up, tell whoever you are with to shut up, and listen. It is certainly not the type of music I would put on when friends come over for a chat. But it is an album which I can listen to, over and over and over again. Definitely something for MUSIC fans.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 12 February 2009
'Kind of Blue' is often cited as the greatest jazz album of all time and SONY have now released this sumptuous box set to mark its 50th anniversary. Apart from the original album which appears here re-mastered on CD and 180-gram vinyl, there are alternative takes, all the studio tracks from the 'Jazz Track' LP of 1958 and a 17-minute live performance of 'So What' recorded in Holland in 1960. The DVD features 'Celebrating a Masterpiece:Kind of Blue:Documentary' plus a 1959 TV broadcast 'The Sound of Miles Davis' and a photo gallery. There's also a 60-page hardback book of essays on the music.
This sextet of Miles Davis(trumpet), John Coltrane(tenor), Cannonball Adderley(alto), Bill Evans or Wynton Kelly(piano), Paul Chambers(bass) & Jimmy Cobb(drums) came together in 1959 to create a haunting, timeless masterpiece which Herbie Hancock described as 'a cornerstone, not just for jazz but for music'.
I first heard 'Kind of Blue' in the early 1960s and never tire of playing it. Although expensive, many fans of Miles Davis' music will want to acquire this lavishly produced box set which is bound to become a collectors' item.
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on 5 June 2015
One of the all-time classics and my review won't make much difference! Suffice to say I never tire of listening to the magic of Miles Davis. Be sure to buy the extended version for maximum enjoyment.
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on 4 November 2008
It's just arrived and the package feels like it is worth the money. I already have all the music bar a few fragments of studio sequences and the "previously released in unauthorized form" 17:28 version of So What, but for the Miles completist it's wonderful to have.

Now - to sit back and luxuriate in this sublime music once again!
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on 4 November 1999
Kind of Blue is the recording on which, to the uninitiated, jazz suddenly makes sense. Its discovery almost always precipitates a slap of the forehead and a loud but ecstatic groan of 'Now I understand!' But it's not just for the once-were-lost-but-now-are-found: this is also the favourite album of many, nay most, dark glasses wearing, echt-jazz aficionados. This is the only music to which these grizzled 50's era bebop-veterans and us musically bereft ex-Stone Roses fans may have, in these polarised times, a similar response. And in a popular culture which tries hard to deny the existence of anything other than what sprung from Elvis and the Beatles, Kind of Blue is probably the sole representative in the broad public imagination of another, now otherwise submerged, tradition In this way it has a role also as a way out of the pop culture: this is the album through which more people (myself included) have been introduced to jazz and escaped than any other. More than anything else though this is an album to which it would be worth listening to every day for the rest of your life. It is never the same twice. It always has more to yield up. It continues to improve and expand after being subjected to prolonged and serious listening. This is music that inspires rapture, music that invites you to become absorbed, to slip away from the to ordinary, to become, in Van Morrison's words, 'a stranger in this world'. Anyway, its unique mood and atmosphere have been wondered at and analyzed elsewhere by better than the likes a me but, for what it's worth, a personal highlight is Coltrane's first solo on Flamenco Sketches. Bill Evans and Miles are thrilling everywhere etc etc If you have become bored with the endlessly annihilating cycle of pop culture and if the thin emotions and vague thoughts of rock music no longer excite you, then think of this album as a way out. It is an invitation to anybody for whom music matters, an invitation to the high ground of jazz, to the clean air and the open spaces, to the excitement and adventure of this most absorbing of musical forms. Step on up.
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Words cannot really do justice to this album. If it catches you just right it is all about the experience and not some intellectual definition. It's a classic for a reason and a great introduction to Miles Davis and jazz in general. Lower the lights, open a bottle of red wine and put this on, it's what jazz is all about!

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
0Comment|18 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
This set comprises 3 albums recorded during 1957 to 1959. The compositions on CD1 are all by Miles Davis (Miles Dewey Davis III,May 26, 1926 - September 28, 1991) as are those for the album Ascenseur pour I'Échafaud (Fontana) with the final 5 tracks from Somethin' Else providing a mix of standards and new compositions. CD2 features the musical cues for the 1958 Louis Malle film Ascenseur pour l'Échafaud. The original soundtrack to the film, as mixed and edited in 1958, and used for the screen, can be heard in tracks 1 to 10 of CD2. "Kind of Blue" (Columbia) has been cited by many music writers not only as Davis's best-selling album, but as the best-selling jazz record of all time. In 2002, it was one of fifty recordings chosen that year by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry. "Somethin' Else" is a 1958 album by jazz musician Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, regarded as a landmark album in the hard bop and cool styles. This LP was notable for the presence and prominent contributions of Miles Davis, in one of his few recording dates for Blue Note Records. The running times are approx 48 minutes and 65 minutes. The sound quality is very good indeed, the set is well illustrated and packaged with the liner notes by Peter Gamble. Glenn Gretlund produced the compilation. Look out for more classic jazz albums from Not Now Music
0Comment|15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
This package is a real bargain: three complete classic jazz albums for the price of one.

This is what you get:

Disk 1:

KoB stripped down to its five original-release basic tracks

Disk 2:

1. Miles' classic December 1957 Paris recording session of the soundtrack for Louis Malle's 1958 film noir `Ascenseur pour l'echafaud' again stripped down to the original 10 pieces with their French titles (if you buy the stand-alone CD from Fontana you get 26 tracks, but 16 of them are just alternative takes on the basic 10)

2. Cannonball Adderley's classic album `Somethin' Else', contemporary with KoB and very much in the same groove, with Miles unusually playing sideman to Cannonball's outstanding sax up-front

So, THREE ultra-cool and essential jazz CDs for a bargain price, with every track a gem. The sound quality is excellent throughout: rich and deep with good tonal separation across the range reminiscent of the original vinyl release.

The only issue is that the title `Kind of Blue' is slightly misleading: not only is no reference made to the other two works, but the cover-art features the classic close-up pic of Miles playing his horn from the KoB album cover. There's more here than meets the eye, but you'd never guess unless you look closely.

All in all, this is a great starter package to anyone discovering the jazz classics of this important period for the first time, and a genuine bargain.
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VINE VOICEon 3 March 2006
If you´re a music fan it´s a horrible question when someone asks you, "So what´s your favourite record?" It´s especially difficult if you´re like me and enjoy listening to a myriad of styles and genres. When asked I usually pause for a few seconds and then start to tell them all about this.
This recording is beyond music. It´s life. It´s a lonely man walking an empty windswept street. A constantly shifting landscape, pulling your emotions one way and then the next. It´s somebody in heaven looking back at the happy and sad moments of their life.
This is six brillaint musicians for a short time in complete harmony with each other. A truly unique moment. At not one moment during the recording does anyone dominate, each musician takes their turn as if it were sewing a delicate patchwork quilt. Miles Davis is so subtle here, his trumpet sounds like tiny footsteps. We also witness one of John Coltrane´s most controlled and understated performances.
Wynton Kelly´s performance on piano is a triumph, he adds so much texture to the recording.
Listening to this traps you in the moment. For it´s duration you feel like you are nowhere, no date, no time, no worries, just complete peace. I hope this is what they play in heaven.
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