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4.7 out of 5 stars
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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| 224 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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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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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 7 January 2013
Of course this is one of the greatest albums ever made in any genre. But I see that Amazon are selling numerous editions, since the copyright has expired and everyone is out to make a few bucks off the back of this sublime work of art. Each of those editions carries the same customer reviews, though one product itself may vary markedly from another in terms of sound as well as liner notes etc. Yet Amazon is quite happy, apparently, to preside over this chaos, where the customer may purchase something only to discover it is not exactly the product as advertised (and recommended by 180+ customers). Add to this the general sloppiness in product descriptions (it would help if those responsible knew something about music) and the advantages of being able to go into a shop and buy exactly what one wants are clear - unfortunately, there aren't that many shops left, are there Amazon?
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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 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 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 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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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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