Author Topic: 60 years of Kind of Blue  (Read 11074 times)

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Offline aukhawk

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60 years of Kind of Blue
« on: March 12, 2019, 09:03:43 AM »
I nearly forgot.  60 years ago this month (2nd March actually) Miles Davis and friends strolled into a New York studio and, without much preparation or rehearsal, laid down the three tracks that make up the 'A' side of the Kind of Blue album.  The other two tracks were recorded on April 22nd.


Offline schnittkease

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Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2019, 02:56:52 PM »
Has it really been that long? Jeez.

Offline San Antone

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Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2019, 03:43:40 PM »
I nearly forgot.  60 years ago this month (2nd March actually) Miles Davis and friends strolled into a New York studio and, without much preparation or rehearsal, laid down the three tracks that make up the 'A' side of the Kind of Blue album.  The other two tracks were recorded on April 22nd.



I've posted here before how much I enjoy this record, and consider it a jazz masterpiece, possibly the most perfect jazz recording ever made.  I must listen to it at least once a month.  1959 was a great year for jazz with several other masterpieces recorded: The Shape of Jazz to Come (Ornette Coleman), Mingus Ah Um (Charles Mingus), Giant Steps (John Coltrane), Time Out (Dave Brubeck), Portrait in Jazz (Bill Evans), Blowin' the Blues Away (Horace Silver), Sings the George and Ira Gershwin Song Book (Ella Fitzgerald).

1959 may have been the greatest year in Jazz of all.

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Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2019, 03:54:16 PM »
1959 may have been the greatest year in Jazz of all.

1959, that's the year Sonny Rollins spent on the Williamsburg bridge. But 1958  was a good year for him.



:)

Offline San Antone

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Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2019, 04:22:32 PM »
1959, that's the year Sonny Rollins spent on the Williamsburg bridge. But 1958  was a good year for him.



:)

That's a great album, too.  I really like saxophone trios without piano.  The entire decade of the '50s produced some of the greatest Jazz.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2019, 07:59:48 PM »
There’s no question it’s a great album, but it’s personally not a favorite of mine. If I had to pick one Miles album that I consider ‘one for the desert island' it would be Seven Steps to Heaven.
"My chief virtue (or if you like, defect) has been a tireless lifelong search for an original, individual musical idiom. I detest imitation, I detest hackneyed devices.” - Sergei Prokofiev

Offline San Antone

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Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2019, 08:09:59 PM »
There’s no question it’s a great album, but it’s personally not a favorite of mine. If I had to pick one Miles album that I consider ‘one for the desert island' it would be Seven Steps to Heaven.

Seven Steps is a good record.  But Kind of Blue is in another league altogether. 

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Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2019, 11:48:56 PM »
Seven Steps is a good record.  But Kind of Blue is in another league altogether.

Totally, yeah! It's one of the most amazing jazz records ever made!

Ashley Kahn's book on the album is very much worth reading - no big news or findings in there, but it's a well-done compilation of what is known about the origin of the music, and a good read, too:

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Offline San Antone

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Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2019, 01:02:48 AM »
Totally, yeah! It's one of the most amazing jazz records ever made!

Ashley Kahn's book on the album is very much worth reading - no big news or findings in there, but it's a well-done compilation of what is known about the origin of the music, and a good read, too:



Yeah, I have that book.  Probably time to look through it again.

Offline aukhawk

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Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2019, 02:14:11 AM »
There’s no question it’s a great album, but it’s personally not a favorite of mine. If I had to pick one Miles album that I consider ‘one for the desert island' it would be Seven Steps to Heaven.

For me it would be Miles Smiles, from 1966.  The mid-sixties quintet in peak form, untypically up-beat, and just before the music became over-influenced by Wayne Shorter's trance-like compositions.  Tony Williams' best album by far (he would have been about 20 at the time!)



Seven Steps to Heaven was a transitional album, featuring two different quintet lineups, one recording in Hollywood in April '63, the other in New York in May.  The title track came from the May session and is the earliest recording of Herbie Hancock and Tony Williams playing with Miles.  Ironically Victor Feldman is credited as co-composer - he is the pianist Hancock replaced (he didn't want to leave Hollywood) and doesn't play on this track.  Williams is 17 years old here, Hancock 23.



Returning to Kind of Blue, one thing that always strikes me is the outstanding playing of Cannonball Adderley.  He's someone who doesn't have much reputation left these days (maybe because he had a hit record in the '60s - was perceived as selling out) - but for me on Kind of Blue he is more than a match for John Coltrane.



« Last Edit: March 13, 2019, 02:18:00 AM by aukhawk »

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2019, 06:50:09 AM »
Seven Steps is a good record.  But Kind of Blue is in another league altogether.

Yes, but we’re talking about my own favorites of course. ;) My other favorites from Miles would be (in no particular order): Sorcerer, Porgy & Bess, and Bitches Brew. I also love the live recordings My Funny Valentine and Four and More, which were actually the same concerts, but I guess Columbia felt the need to split them up to make more money (per usual). ::)
"My chief virtue (or if you like, defect) has been a tireless lifelong search for an original, individual musical idiom. I detest imitation, I detest hackneyed devices.” - Sergei Prokofiev

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Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2019, 04:11:50 PM »


Is that a flugelhorn Miles is playing? I find that confusing. I thought he only used flugelhorn on the big band Gil Evans sessions.

Offline Mookalafalas

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Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2019, 02:04:58 AM »
I checked Kind of Blue out of the library when I was in high school.  Maybe 1984. It was a scratchy old LP and I made a cassette of it and listened to it for years and years.  It was my first and only jazz album til I bought a 5 CD box set (Miles Davis on Columbia anthology) when I was in college. It cost $50, which was a hell of a lot of money to me at that time. 
« Last Edit: August 07, 2019, 02:41:11 AM by Mookalafalas »
It's all good...

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2020, 06:32:52 AM »
I am not sure if KOB is that great album. While the legend of album attracts non-Jazz listeners , many/some people, including Miles, don’t find it good album. Except Blue in Green, the album is somehow mediocre.

Offline Old San Antone

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Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2020, 07:01:13 AM »
I am not sure if KOB is that great album. While the legend of album attracts non-Jazz listeners , many/some people, including Miles, don’t find it good album. Except Blue in Green, the album is somehow mediocre.

You may not be sure, but most Jazz musicians and critics (as well as countless fans) consider it a masterpiece.  Miles was notorious to disavow earlier recordings and express interest only in his current band/style - so his comments can be taken for what they were.  Kind of Blue is about as perfect a Jazz recording we will ever see.

Quote
Kind of Blue has been regarded by many critics as the greatest jazz record, Davis's masterpiece, and one of the best albums of all time. Its influence on music, including jazz, rock, and classical genres, has led writers to also deem it one of the most influential albums ever recorded. The album was one of fifty recordings chosen in 2002 by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry, and in 2003 it was ranked number 12 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. It was voted number 14 in Colin Larkin's All Time Top 1000 Albums.

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
« Reply #15 on: September 10, 2020, 07:14:33 AM »
You may not be sure, but most Jazz musicians and critics (as well as countless fans) consider it a masterpiece.  Miles was notorious to disavow earlier recordings and express interest only in his current band/style - so his comments can be taken for what they were.  Kind of Blue is about as perfect a Jazz recording we will ever see.

As for the 1st sentence, I would replace “most” with “many” or “a majority of.” The 2nd sentence sounds right. Congratulations to the final sentence.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2020, 07:53:04 AM »
Love it.
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Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
« Reply #17 on: September 10, 2020, 08:18:00 AM »
I don’t think it is better than the ‘49 live with Dameron, ‘64 Live, or In the Sky.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2020, 08:50:10 AM by Dry Brett Kavanaugh »

Offline Brian

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Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
« Reply #18 on: September 10, 2020, 08:47:31 AM »
I like Kind of Blue and listen to it about twice a year - far from my favorite though I respect the achievement - I'm just here to enjoy the controversy. It's kind of nice to see someone saying something that not everyone agrees with!

Offline Jo498

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Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
« Reply #19 on: September 10, 2020, 09:42:36 AM »
I never really got into Jazz despite having some friends enticing me already decades ago as a teenager (it came after classical, this was maybe the problem), but I have a bunch of "classic albums", including Kind of Blue. I like it once in a while but I think it is a bit too much on the "cool, detached" side (I have no reason to doubt that this was intentional and exactly what the musicians wanted to create.) Therefore I tend to prefer what Miles Davis did a few years earlier, namely the "Walking", "Working" etc. and the stuff collected as Birth of the Cool because this seems more "lively".
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