Kind Of Blue CD
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100 Albums That Shook The World
Jazz music publication Jazzwise, has collated a list of albums that have changed jazz. Browse the 100 albums that shook the world.
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Long held as the jazz album that even non-jazz fans will own, Kind Of Blue not only changed the way people regarded Miles, it changed the very face of music itself. Consistently rated not just as one of the greatest jazz albums but as one of THE greatest musical statements of the 20th century, its 46 minutes of improvisation and sophistication remain peerless.
In the early 50s George Russell had raised the possibility of using a modal approach (i.e. playing within a certain scale, as opposed to according to a fixed chord sequence) as a way out of the straightjacket that restricted improvisation. Miles, at this time, was in thrall to hard bop, but by 1958's Milestones he was ready to try the modal approach, the title track being his first recorded foray into the form.
Kind Of Blue, released the following year, took the idea and developed it to an astounding degree. Its smoky evocation of late night ambience is a byword for laid back elegance. It uses the blues but transmutes those seventh chords into something that still sounds modern 50 years on. Quite simply, the sonic space it creates sounds like the coolest place on the planet.
Key to the album's deceptive ease is the band that Miles had assembled. Honed to perfection were the sextet of saxophonists John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley, drummer Jimmy Cobb, bassist Paul Chambers and pianist Bill Evans (replacing regular Wynton Kelly on all but one track - "Freddy Freeloader"). All players were to have legendary careers, but it was Coltrane who took Miles' modal template and went furthest with it, with spectacular results.
Dispute still rages as to the role Evans had in the compositions (many regard him as at least a co-author, and he was an acolyte of George Russell's) but what we do know is that on the two recording dates that spawned this masterpiece, Davis, as usual, just laid out the song structures for the musicians on the day with no rehearsal (though "So What" and "All Blues" had been played live prior to this). From the opening murmur of the piano on "So What" to the final sad mute on "Flamenco Sketches", it never falters, despite its meandering pace. Even more miraculous, it never wears thin from repeat plays. Quincy Jones claims to play it every day. So should you. --Chris Jones
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
This is what you get:
KoB stripped down to its five original-release basic tracks
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've listened to this a few times now and feel I may have been hasty in saying it was a bit boring. It is, I have to say extremely boring! Read morePublished 12 days ago by Arturio
Great classic timeless and definitive album. Must have for any true music lover.Published 1 month ago by homer
Just awesome... more than relaxing. I cannot recommend this enough! My son and daughter-in-law heard it yesterday and also like it!Published 1 month ago by Bazz Lightyear
Seminal, all-time classic. . . I can't say anything about it that hasn't been said before.Published 2 months ago by STEWART BARTLAM
No comments because everything I would write is an insult to this master of jazz. Recording is great, well donePublished 2 months ago by Jaap Tersteeg
only flamenca at end has real heart,rest kinda cold & technical.prefer coltrane for soul married to techniquePublished 2 months ago by sara joh