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4.7 out of 5 stars394
4.7 out of 5 stars
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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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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 22 February 2011
This is an incredible bargain: three Miles Davis classics, including the iconic 'Kind of Blue', 'Ascenseur pour l'echefaud' from a Louis Malle soundtrack, and 'Somethin' Else', a 'Cannonball' Adderley album on which Davis makes a substantial contribution. All three albums are remastered onto two cds, with a real warmth to the sound. 'Kind of Blue' is a beautiful, elegantly played, restrained and melodic album which is likely to appeal to those wary of jazz. It features Miles' trumpet hanging sublimely over the rhythms of drums, bass and piano, and counterpointed by Adderley's sax. It's a true classic of its kind.
Also on the album is a set of moodily atmospheric, ghostly jazz of short pieces which are the soundtrack to a French film 'Lift to the Gallows', so the music is highly appropriate! Finally, there is Adderley's album which features 'Cannonball' on sax, meshing fluidly with Davis trumpet, especially evocatively on 'Autumn Leaves', 'One for Daddy-o' and 'Dancing in the Dark'. All three are classic albums of their time, and all are rated 'outstanding' by Penguin Jazz Guide, and given top **** ratings. This is a simply unmissable bargain, even at treble the price, so snap this up now while you can. Mouthwateringly good.
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on 20 June 2001
This was the first jazz album that I ever bought and not knowing anything about the style, I didn't know what to expect. To say I was pleasantly surprised would be a complete understatement but to say that since that day the only music I've listened to has been jazz (be it Benny Goodman or Jaco Pastorius!) would be about right. From the opening bars of "So What" you know that you're listening to a masterpiece and a piece of history that could never be repeated. The 50 minutes just disappear and I guarantee when it's over you will go and press play again - I have been listening to it for years and I'm still finding new bits that I've missed! There is not one fault to be found with this album - it is pretty perfect...As albums go!
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on 25 March 2004
There are swathes of jazz listeners who only seem to rank a piece of work if it has a kazillion notes, all played frenetically and showing extraordinary technique yet wouldn't know a beautiful album if it hit them in the face, frank_fan is obviously one of these. Not an heretic, just a tad misguided I feel.
I was chatting with a friend recently and he is of the opinion that if someone plays very little or is economical with the amount of notes being played, that they are wasting their musical talent. I have one word to say to that:- Bullsh*t. Sometimes, it pays to strip back the playing to define the overall sound, Kind of Blue being one of those occasions. The playing is sublime, each musician contributing a little conversation and the others only chipping in when they have something to say.
This is arguably the most popular jazz album in the world EVER and it's not hard to see why. It has everything. The arrangements allow each player to breathe, to reflect on what's being said. There is no clutter, no wasted notes. It's as if something great is at work here, as if each musician is a channel for the music to flow through. It's a moving, gently evolving document that thankfully has been preserved for all time.
Whether you like jazz or hate it, give Kind of Blue a listen. You will either warm to it or be left cold but it's an album that has to be heard at least once, after all greatness only comes along occasionally. Catch this slow train to musical Heaven. Wonderful. Classy. Unsurpassed. This is Kind of Blue.
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on 10 September 2010
What only 3 stars I hear you scream - well yes. This is one of the best jazz albums of all time so as far as performance is concerned we all know it is superb, 5 Stars. But the remastering is frankly very poor for such a classic standard. I would question if this was mastered from the master tapes and the engineer should be ashamed - did you actually sit down and listen to your final mix in a proper 5.1 system?. There is a complete lack of double bass. Where is the LFE (.1) channel content??? This album has a beautiful double bass most of which comes out the centre speaker but apart from hearing the notes there is very little depth or feel to the bass. The piano is poor also. The actual CD layer sounds better.

I also have the JSACD (Japanese SACD) version on Sony of this album and it is a much better. I would not purchase this Columbia SACD version - get the Sony version it is far superior.

Please don't judge this review with the "this is 'Kind of Blue' so always deserves 5 stars" mentality. I am purely reviewing the quality of the mastering.
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on 7 November 2008
I can understand why fans of Davis' jazz fusion, jazz rock and electric stuff may find this bland since it was recorded before he decided to explore that newer territory (which I find weird and disappointing). It represents just one part of his journey from the Rhumboogie Orchestra in 1944, via bop and Gill Evans, to the synthesizer-enhanced(?) din he was making towards the end of his career. Only a few days after this session was recorded Coltrane cut "Giant Steps", which is a fair indication of the direction he was taking.

However, for me and thousands of others this is a beautiful record, with all the musicians performing at their (then) peak. Even Coltrane makes a beautiful sound and they all swing mightily when that is appropriate to the mood of the number. Yes, it is cool (although there is warmth, too) but that was what the mood required. Incidentally, in his autobiography, Davis denies that Bill Evans composed (or co-composed) any of the pieces in "Kind of Blue" although he admits Evans' influence on his approach to the work.

Whether it is "the best jazz record ever" I am not qualified to judge although it is surely among the best. But how do you compare it with King Oliver, Bechet's "Out of the Galleon" or with Bird at his best?
Such comparisons are pointless as well as impossible. Just enjoy it for what it is.
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on 17 March 2000
Every few years, albums come along that change you, stay with you and live with you forever. John McArthur's "HIDDEN", Keith Jarrett's, "The Koln Concert", Dave Brubeck, "Jazz Impressions of New York" and the ultimate album, Miles Davis, "Kind of Blue."
With an all-star line-up, bolstered by Julian "Cannonball" Adderley and John Coltrane, this is without question the coolest album ever to be recorded. Great solos, intertwined among each other, moving seamlessly from one to the other. The music ebbs and flows like a cool stream.
Legend has it that this was literally a first-take; done without any rehearsal, which moves the greatness of this album into a whole new (and until then) unoccupied tax bracket.
If you know nothing about jazz, this is without question the place to start. If you don't think you like jazz, this is worth a listen. Try it; you'll like it! Even in a music collection without any other jazz, this is the one album to have. Listening to it will make you want to explore Miles and his compatriots more and more. Any collection of music would be incomplete without it. "So What" and "All Blues" are first among equals here.
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on 9 March 2009
Well I bought this from Amazon about 2 months ago when it was clearly not yet released in the UK. It came from their Jersey merchant who sent me a product that looks like it was intended for the German market with a large and unsightly identity symbol imprinted onto the front cover which completely ruined the otherwise stunning aesthetic appeal.

Aside from this irritation the package delivers superb value for money with all the discs from the box set included.

No point in commenting on the music. If you can afford it get the box set because its beautiful. If your wad isnt large enough then get this and look forward to replacing it with the 60th anniversary edition when it come out 5 years early in about 2014
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VINE VOICEon 7 September 2009
Confession time .I used to watch the "Jazz Club " sketch in The Fast Show : Ultimate Collection (7 Disc BBC Box Set) [DVD] and laugh not so much like a drain but like an entire sewer system. You see the sketch was confirming what I ,d felt all along about jazz -that this was a haven for pretentious , head nodding pseudo cool types. Jazz I thought was music for people who don't actually like music at all. The thing is though I used to think something similar about reggae and I love reggae now. The trick you see is to jettison your presumptions, predispositions assumptions what ever you want to call them and start listening .
Which brings me to Kind Of Blue by Miles Davis. Now I have long been aware that this is an album held in extremely high regard but it's a jazz album so I wasn't interested. Then I got thinking about my reggae conversion , and my previous conversion to rap ( mainly brought about by listening to Public Enemy ) and I also thought about how much I like swing & jive which has jazz elements to it ( jazz purists please cease frothing at the mouth ) I also thought about how much I liked Melody Gardots recent album and that has definite jazz elements and a mate whose opinion I trust told me how much he liked Kind Of Blue so i thought I ,d take the plunge.
Guess what ? ....Well it's a bit of a stupid question because you've seen the five yellow stars at the top of the review but I absolutely love Kind Of Blue. It has an ambience , atmosphere a tone and timbre I often look for in music .The sort of thing I often find in obscure pieces of ambient music , or experimental post rock or even filtering into more song based music like The Blue Nile or David Sylvian. There is a melancholy that has nothing to do with feeling maudlin or wallowing in misery .It is a kind of blue but it speaks of something else ,something alive and hopeful and yes ..something cool.
Anyone looking for a erudite critique of Miles Davis music or an empirical placing of his influence both within the confines of jazz or the more expansive umbrella of music will not find it in this review. I could have added a bit of potted history of the album which is something I would normally do but that really is not the purpose of this review either . I am here dear reader to state that even if, like me you would normally rather let ants nest in your ears rather than listen to jazz to put aside your prejudice and give this album a listen. It,s terrific , it really is. It may also lead you to question your long held ( in my case certainly ) jazz aversion .
And now on the back of this revelation i intend to investigate further . I have already bought Time Out by the Dave Brubeck Quartet and A Love Supreme [Deluxe Edition] and Mingus Ah Um are on my shopping list. Any other recommendations would also be welcome .Those ants will have to move out.... there is more jazz on the way . Still think "Jazz Club" is bloody funny though.
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on 21 February 2002
This is a quintessential jazz album, it has a flow to it that connects all the tracks like few others. When the Sony SBM remaster came out a few years back, Barry Fox, a well respected UK audio journalist declared it the greatest small group jazz recording of all time. Praise indeed, but valid.
Miles, Trane, Cannonball, Bill Evans, Wyn Kelly, Paul Chambers and Jimmy Cobb - all legends in their own right... but all together made something magical happen in these sessions. There's even two books published recently about the making of this one album... what other piece of serious popular recorded music can you say that about? If you don't own it, buy it now, you won't regret it
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