GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => The Jazz Lounge => Topic started by: aukhawk on March 12, 2019, 09:03:43 AM

Title: 60 years of Kind of Blue
Post by: aukhawk 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.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81CP1j-zprL._SX425_.jpg)
Title: Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
Post by: schnittkease on March 12, 2019, 02:56:52 PM
Has it really been that long? Jeez.
Title: Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
Post by: San Antone 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.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81CP1j-zprL._SX425_.jpg)

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.
Title: Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
Post by: Ghost of Baron Scarpia 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.

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/b9/Freedom_Suite_%28Sonny_Rollins_album%29.jpg)

:)
Title: Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
Post by: San Antone 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.

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/b9/Freedom_Suite_%28Sonny_Rollins_album%29.jpg)

:)

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.
Title: Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
Post by: Mirror Image 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.
Title: Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
Post by: San Antone 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. 
Title: Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
Post by: king ubu 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:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51UWdjrq3iL.jpg)
Title: Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
Post by: San Antone 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:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51UWdjrq3iL.jpg)

Yeah, I have that book.  Probably time to look through it again.
Title: Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
Post by: aukhawk 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!)

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/81oluzKHMWL._SS500_.jpg)

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.

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/71n+kU90slL._SS500_.jpg)

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.

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DnHKHlvWsAEfS0g.jpg)

Title: Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
Post by: Mirror Image 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). ::)
Title: Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
Post by: Ghost of Baron Scarpia on March 21, 2019, 04:11:50 PM
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DnHKHlvWsAEfS0g.jpg)

Is that a flugelhorn Miles is playing? I find that confusing. I thought he only used flugelhorn on the big band Gil Evans sessions.
Title: Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
Post by: Mookalafalas 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. 
Title: Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
Post by: Dry Brett Kavanaugh 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.
Title: Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
Post by: Old San Antone 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.
Title: Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
Post by: Dry Brett Kavanaugh 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.
Title: Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 10, 2020, 07:53:04 AM
Love it.
Title: Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
Post by: Dry Brett Kavanaugh 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.
Title: Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
Post by: Brian 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!
Title: Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
Post by: Jo498 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".
Title: Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
Post by: Alek Hidell on September 10, 2020, 03:52:27 PM
Sorry, but Kind of Blue is the greatest recording ever made. And I will brook no disagreement. ;D
Title: Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 10, 2020, 05:14:43 PM
Sorry, but Kind of Blue is the greatest recording ever made. And I will brook no disagreement. ;D

Bust heads!
Title: Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
Post by: Dry Brett Kavanaugh on September 10, 2020, 07:21:52 PM
For that time period, Round Midnight and Milestone are much better. In terms of compositions and solos.
Title: Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
Post by: Irons on September 11, 2020, 10:47:15 PM
For that time period, Round Midnight and Milestone are much better. In terms of compositions and solos.

So they might but they are not iconic and Kind of Blue is.
Title: Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
Post by: Dry Brett Kavanaugh on September 12, 2020, 06:44:27 AM
So they might but they are not iconic and Kind of Blue is.

Yes, the status and fashionable image of KOB was constructed by the music industry, photographers and book authors hired by it, and the mass who blindly follow the publication. Probably Round Midnight is more accomplished music than KOB.
Title: Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
Post by: Irons on September 16, 2020, 06:24:32 AM
Yes, the status and fashionable image of KOB was constructed by the music industry, photographers and book authors hired by it, and the mass who blindly follow the publication. Probably Round Midnight is more accomplished music than KOB.

I get what you are saying but deep down are you resenting as a jazz aficionado that the rest of the world who are not as committed as you think Kind of Blue is great? An album that we all can enjoy - even non-jazz fans because it is so good.
Title: Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
Post by: Old San Antone on September 16, 2020, 06:43:34 AM
Yes, the status and fashionable image of KOB was constructed by the music industry, photographers and book authors hired by it, and the mass who blindly follow the publication. Probably Round Midnight is more accomplished music than KOB.

I am not sure what your standard is for making this judgment.  It is easy to take Kind of Blue for granted, but at the time it was released it was quite remarkable.  'Round Midnight is also a great album (as are many of Miles's records), but will never have the status of KoB, and I don't have a problem with that.  For a variety of reasons KoB is in a class of its own. 

I listen to KoB regularly, more than any other Miles record, actually more than any record.  It is the only album which I have never tired of listening to, it is unique in that regard.  Herbie Hancock considers it of such high quality that he ranks its with the best of classical composers.  And I don't think Herbie's opinion was created by "the music industry, photographers and book authors hired by it." 

You denigrate all the musicians and fans who have reacted to KoB in a positive manner when you accuse them of being manipulated by a marketing machine.  For some reason you feel the need to rebel against the collective opinion about this great recording.  You may express a personal and subjective opinion, while many musicians and critics across six decades have lauded KoB the result of which has been to cumulatively create an objective consensus.
Title: Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
Post by: MN Dave on September 16, 2020, 07:00:27 AM
It's a fine, fine album and I can see why it is considered a classic.

Do I pull it out often to listen? No, too much other stuff I like better.  8)
Title: Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
Post by: T. D. on September 16, 2020, 07:43:45 AM
It's a fine, fine album and I can see why it is considered a classic.

Do I pull it out often to listen? No, too much other stuff I like better.  8)

+1 on this.
Title: Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
Post by: Dry Brett Kavanaugh on September 16, 2020, 08:52:50 AM
I get what you are saying but deep down are you resenting as a jazz aficionado that the rest of the world who are not as committed as you think Kind of Blue is great? An album that we all can enjoy - even non-jazz fans because it is so good.

For some reason you feel the need to rebel against the collective opinion about this great recording. 


Ad Hominem
Title: Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 16, 2020, 09:19:32 AM
It's a fine, fine album and I can see why it is considered a classic.

Do I pull it out often to listen? No, too much other stuff I like better.  8)

That's cool, too, mate.
Title: Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 16, 2020, 09:20:28 AM
Ad Hominem

Objection sustained.
Title: Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
Post by: Old San Antone on September 16, 2020, 10:17:50 AM
'Round About Midnight was released in March 1957.  It was the last recording to feature the first great quintet, Chambers, Garland, Jones, Coltrane and Miles.   The arrangement of the Monk tune, "Round Midnight", was to remain in Miles' book for decades, and is the definitive recording, IMO, transcending even Monk's own.  But aside from that track, the rest is a rather standard fare for a jazz group of the late 50s.  For sure, this band swings fiercely, but it doesn't rise above other hard bop groups of the period.

Milestones was recorded with his "first great quintet" augmented as a sextet, released in 1958.  This makes a tentative first step towards the modalism of Kind of Blue, but the title song is rather crude compared to "So What" which uses the same harmonic progression.  Another Monk tune appears, "Straight No Chaser", but with nothing distinguishing it from countless other performances/arrangements of this blues tune - Monk's many recordings easily top it.  The rest is a group of standards and jazz heads designed for blowing.  A very good recording, but again, fairly typical of the late 50s hard bop sound.

Kind of Blue was recorded on March 2 and April 22, 1959, at Columbia's 30th Street Studio in New York City, and released on August 17 of that year. The album features Davis's ensemble sextet consisting of saxophonists John Coltrane and Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, pianist Bill Evans, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Jimmy Cobb, with new band pianist Wynton Kelly appearing on one track in place of Evans. In part owing to Evans' joining the sextet during 1958, Davis followed up on the modal experimentation of Milestones by basing Kind of Blue entirely on modality, departing further from his earlier work's hard bop style of jazz.

With Kind of Blue, Miles Davis went from leading one of the best jazz groups to establishing a career high mark.  No standards, but two blues heads, although one atypically in 6/8 time - the rest were modal compositions and played not in the prevailing hard bop but a cooler style.  The album is far more original that any previous Miles Davis recording, or any other recording by any jazz musician at that time with the exception of Ornette Coleman's first recording also released in '59.  Kind of Blue marked the beginning of a pattern for Miles Davis, a course of invention and re-invention of his bands and style for the rest of his career.

It would be hard to overstate its importance or level of excellence.  All of the musicians involved played at the peak of their careers, and the mix of personalities created a collective sound unmatched by few bands.  Only the second great quintet played with more simpatico and intuition.
Title: Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
Post by: Old San Antone on September 16, 2020, 10:50:28 AM
As an addendum to my previous post, I'll add just one review which is typical of so many others.

AllMusic Review (https://www.allmusic.com/album/kind-of-blue-mw0000191710)

Kind of Blue isn't merely an artistic highlight for Miles Davis, it's an album that towers above its peers, a record generally considered as the definitive jazz album. To be reductive, it's the Citizen Kane of jazz -- an accepted work of greatness that's innovative and entertaining. That may not mean it's the greatest jazz album ever made, but it certainly is a universally acknowledged standard of excellence. Why does Kind of Blue posses such a mystique? Perhaps it's that this music never flaunts its genius. It lures listeners in with the slow, luxurious bassline and gentle piano chords of "So What." From that moment on, the record never really changes pace -- each tune has a similar relaxed feel, as the music flows easily. Yet Kind of Blue is more than easy listening. It's the pinnacle of modal jazz -- tonality and solos build from chords, not the overall key, giving the music a subtly shifting quality. All of this doesn't quite explain why seasoned jazz fans return to this record even after they've memorized every nuance. They return because this is an exceptional band - Miles, Coltrane, Bill Evans, Cannonball Adderly, Paul Chambers, Jimmy Cobb, and Wynton Kelly -- one of the greatest in history, playing at the peak of its power. As Evans said in the original liner notes for the record, the band did not play through any of these pieces prior to recording. Davis laid out the themes and chords before the tape rolled, and then the band improvised. The end results were wondrous, filled with performances that still crackle with vitality. Few albums of any genre manage to work on so many different levels, but Kind of Blue does. It can be played as background music, yet it amply rewards close listening. It is advanced music that is extraordinarily enjoyable. It may be a stretch to say that if you don't like Kind of Blue, you don't like jazz -- but it's hard to imagine it as anything other than a cornerstone of any jazz collection.
Title: Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 16, 2020, 11:02:17 AM
'Round About Midnight was released in March 1957.  It was the last recording to feature the first great quintet, Chambers, Garland, Jones, Coltrane and Miles.   The arrangement of the Monk tune, "Round Midnight", was to remain in Miles' book for decades, and is the definitive recording, IMO, transcending even Monk's own.  But aside from that track, the rest is a rather standard fare for a jazz group of the late 50s.  For sure, this band swings fiercely, but it doesn't rise above other hard bop groups of the period.

Milestones was recorded with his "first great quintet" augmented as a sextet, released in 1958.  This makes a tentative first step towards the modalism of Kind of Blue, but the title song is rather crude compared to "So What" which uses the same harmonic progression.  Another Monk tune appears, "Straight No Chaser", but with nothing distinguishing it from countless other performances/arrangements of this blues tune - Monk's many recordings easily top it.  The rest is a group of standards and jazz heads designed for blowing.  A very good recording, but again, fairly typical of the late 50s hard bop sound.

Kind of Blue was recorded on March 2 and April 22, 1959, at Columbia's 30th Street Studio in New York City, and released on August 17 of that year. The album features Davis's ensemble sextet consisting of saxophonists John Coltrane and Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, pianist Bill Evans, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Jimmy Cobb, with new band pianist Wynton Kelly appearing on one track in place of Evans. In part owing to Evans' joining the sextet during 1958, Davis followed up on the modal experimentation of Milestones by basing Kind of Blue entirely on modality, departing further from his earlier work's hard bop style of jazz.

With Kind of Blue, Miles Davis went from leading one of the best jazz groups to establishing a career high mark.  No standards, but two blues heads, although one atypically in 6/8 time - the rest were modal compositions and played not in the prevailing hard bop but a cooler style.  The album is far more original that any previous Miles Davis recording, or any other recording by any jazz musician at that time with the exception of Ornette Coleman's first recording also released in '59.  Kind of Blue marked the beginning of a pattern for Miles Davis, a course of invention and re-invention of his bands and style for the rest of his career.

It would be hard to overstate its importance or level of excellence.  All of the musicians involved played at the peak of their careers, and the mix of personalities created a collective sound unmatched by few bands.  Only the second great quintet played with more simpatico and intuition.

Most interesting, thx!
Title: Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
Post by: Dry Brett Kavanaugh on September 18, 2020, 06:45:59 AM
My comments on RAM and KOB are presented below.

Round About Midnight

Round Midnight- Excellent. Great arrangement, theme (Miles) and solo (Trane). The music with aura.

Ah Leu Cha- Excellent. Intelligent arrangement and it is significantly different from the Bird original. The Miles’ solo and PJJ’s drums sound great. Slight hint of mode to come?

All of you- Good/Fair.
Blackbird- Good/Fair. The recording made the song popular in Jazz.

Tadd’s Delight- Excellent. Great/modern arrangement and very different from the Navarro/Dameron original. The performance of Miles and PJJ are outstanding. This is not a Hard-bop sound anymore.

Stockholm- Very Good. Thoughtful and sophisticated arrangement. The recording made the tune famous. The solo starts with the bass followed by Trane, and the last and unforgettable solo by Miles. Slight hint of modal approach? The music sounds very “new”.

All these songs evince that they are not in the paradigm of Hard-bop any more, and they are new in terms of the format and sound.


KInd of Blue

So What- Good/Fair. On appearance, the tune may sound new due to the modal piano and deep reverb of the sound. However, Miles’ solo is largely, if not exclusively, based on the blues pentatonic scale, and not very different from his music for the French movie years earlier. The TV program version, as well as the versions of Live 1964 and Tokyo later, sound much better (and more modal). Dorian scale (minor with augmented 6th) would become more prevalent in his solos years later.  Right here, only Evans is a modal player with a frequent use of II minor. Miles a little bit, others non.

Freddie F.- Good/Fair. Good piano by WK.

Blue in Green- Excellent. Innovative composition and great performance. Picturesque music.

All Blues- Good/Fair. Due to the 6/8 rhythm, it may sound new to some people, but essentially the tune is a folk-theme blues. The theme and Miles solo are based on the Bop/Mixolydian scale, rather than the Spanish scale as some claim.

Flamenco Sketches- Very good. Innovative, if somewhat artificial, composition and decent performance.

Throughout the album, Jimmy Cobb is not as colorful as PJJ. However, it would be a mistake to consider him less qualified than the latter. Cobb’s performance is refined and sophisticated. Also, at this moment, Bill Evans is the only full-modal player in the group. Chambers remain as a conservative player. It is questionable if Cannonball really fits well here. Overall, the album is not as musical as Round Midnight. Neither it is as innovative as George Russell’s Workshop released ealier.
Title: Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
Post by: Old San Antone on September 19, 2020, 04:10:33 AM
This short film might be interesting for this thread:

The Making of Kind of Blue (2004) | Miles Davis

https://www.youtube.com/v/Pwc1d4qxz4M
Title: Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
Post by: BWV 1080 on October 01, 2020, 01:01:11 PM
Great album, but in terms of how much I listen, my ESP / KOB and BB/KOB ratios are in double digits
Title: Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
Post by: Old San Antone on October 02, 2020, 05:07:42 AM
Great album, but in terms of how much I listen, my ESP / KOB and BB/KOB ratios are in double digits

Yesterday I created chronological playlists of Miles recordings, broken up in roughly stylistic periods.  Great to go back and here the development.
Title: Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
Post by: Alek Hidell on June 27, 2021, 12:18:01 PM
I'm more on San Antone's side here. I think Kind of Blue is the greatest record ever made, period, but you are all of course entitled to your (incorrect and blasphemous) opinions. :D

When I first heard the alternate take of "Flamenco Sketches" many years ago, I was astounded: it was just as good as the "official" take, the two saxophonists' solos in particular. I love the way Coltrane creates tension by rising repeatedly up to one particular note before finally resolving it with one single note above the repeated one. (Sorry, I don't have the knowledge to describe it in more technical/musical terms.) Sometimes I even prefer this alternate take to the "official" one.

I know many of you will have seen this before, but here's the band (sans Adderley, with Wynton Kelly on piano) on a TV production in 1959. Among other things it's notable for being one of the very few performances of "So What" (in fact I can't think of another one) in something close to the original album tempo - it wasn't long at all before Miles began performing it at a much faster tempo, for what reason I don't know. Anyway, the magic was clearly still present here: just listen to Miles' solo, for example.The first time I heard it, I almost wept.

https://www.youtube.com/v/nGvfBNywa3g
Title: Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
Post by: Dry Brett Kavanaugh on June 29, 2021, 08:31:24 PM
I'm more on San Antone's side here. I think Kind of Blue is the greatest record ever made, period, but you are all of course entitled to your (incorrect and blasphemous) opinions. :D

When I first heard the alternate take of "Flamenco Sketches" many years ago, I was astounded: it was just as good as the "official" take, the two saxophonists' solos in particular. I love the way Coltrane creates tension by rising repeatedly up to one particular note before finally resolving it with one single note above the repeated one. (Sorry, I don't have the knowledge to describe it in more technical/musical terms.) Sometimes I even prefer this alternate take to the "official" one.

I know many of you will have seen this before, but here's the band (sans Adderley, with Wynton Kelly on piano) on a TV production in 1959. Among other things it's notable for being one of the very few performances of "So What" (in fact I can't think of another one) in something close to the original album tempo - it wasn't long at all before Miles began performing it at a much faster tempo, for what reason I don't know. Anyway, the magic was clearly still present here: just listen to Miles' solo, for example.The first time I heard it, I almost wept.

https://www.youtube.com/v/nGvfBNywa3g

I won’t repeat my opinion. We don’t need to agree on everything (or anything.) Great you like it, and great I like others. Even if we agree, we may not be really agreeing. As I said before, the TV version of So What is excellent. Miles’ solo evinces his genius. I prefer the performance to So What in the album. Thank you for your insightful and thoughtful comment.

As for “greatest jazz record,” possibly/arguably I may say Charlie Parker’s Koko or Basie’ s Atomic Basie, but I am not sure.
Title: Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
Post by: SimonNZ on September 04, 2021, 05:26:28 PM
Something I hadn't been aware of until recently was that if you were buying Miles albums at the time of release the Prestige era wasn't distinct from the Columbia era the way it is to us now. I had somehow assumed that Prestige had more or less flooded the market with the four albums recorded at the Workin/Steamin"Cookin/Relaxing sessions, but in the early 60s you would have experienced Cookin as a new release after Round About Midnight, Relaxin (and Bags Groove) after Miles Ahead, Workin after Milestones, Porgy and Bess and Kind of Blue (!!), and Steamin after Sketches of Spain
Title: Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
Post by: Artem on September 05, 2021, 09:25:36 AM
I used to find it confusing as well until I began paying attention to recording dates as opposed to release dates.
Title: Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
Post by: Mirror Image on September 06, 2021, 06:19:17 AM
I think Kind of Blue is put up on a pedestal to the point where, for many listeners or so it seems, it has somehow clouded their judgement of his other output. Don’t get me wrong I love Kind of Blue, but I don’t listen to it as much as say Miles Smiles or Sorcerer or any of the Miles-Gil Evans collaborations. Of the electric period, In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew are my favorites or, at least, the ones I return to the most.
Title: Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
Post by: Artem on September 06, 2021, 06:38:32 AM
Kind of Blue was the first jazz CD I bought and it led me to discover Miles Davis music. Being a more regular listener of rock music at the time, I immediately fell in love with In a Silent Way, Bitches Brew, Jack Johnson, On the Corner. However, the more I listened to jazz music, especially John Coltrane, the more I felt like returning to Kind of Blue.
Title: Re: 60 years of Kind of Blue
Post by: Mirror Image on September 06, 2021, 07:09:37 AM
Kind of Blue was the first jazz CD I bought and it led me to discover Miles Davis music. Being a more regular listener of rock music at the time, I immediately fell in love with In a Silent Way, Bitches Brew, Jack Johnson, On the Corner. However, the more I listened to jazz music, especially John Coltrane, the more I felt like returning to Kind of Blue.

There’s no question that Kind of Blue is a stellar album, but I tend to like the slower, more moody pieces on it like Blue in Green and Flamenco Sketches for example. So What and Freddie Freeloader are my favorites of the more uptempo pieces.