“It must have been made in heaven.”
– Jimmy Cobb
Kind of Blue is a studio album by American jazz musician Miles Davis, released August 17, 1959, on Columbia Records in the United States. Recording sessions for the album took place at Columbia’s 30th Street Studio in New York City on March 2 and April 22, 1959. The sessions featured Davis’s ensemble sextet, which consisted of pianist Bill Evans (Wynton Kelly on one track), drummer Jimmy Cobb, bassist Paul Chambers, and saxophonists John Coltrane and Julian “Cannonball” Adderley.
Though precise figures have been disputed, Kind of Blue has been described by many music writers not only as Davis’s best-selling album, but as the best-selling jazz record of all time. On October 7, 2008, it was certified quadruple platinum in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). It has been regarded by many critics as the greatest jazz album of all time and Davis’s masterpiece.
The album’s influence on music, including jazz, rock, and classical music, has led music writers to acknowledge it as one of the most influential albums ever made. In 2002, it was one of fifty recordings chosen that year by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry. In 2003, the album was ranked number 12 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
Kind of Blue was recorded in two sessions at Columbia Records’ 30th Street Studio in New York City. On March 2, the tracks “So What”, “Freddie Freeloader”, and “Blue in Green” were recorded for side one of the original LP, and on April 22 the tracks “All Blues”, and “Flamenco Sketches” were recorded, making up side two. Production was handled by Teo Macero, who had produced Davis’s previous two LPs, and Irving Townsend.
TV performance from 1959, incredible archival footage where Miles Davis and his Quintette play So What from Kind of Blue:
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, a universally acknowledged standard of excellence. Why does Kind of Blue posses such a mystique? Perhaps because this music never flaunts its genius… It’s the pinnacle of modal jazz — tonality and solos build from the overall key, not chord changes, giving the music a subtly shifting quality… 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.—Stephen T. Erlewine (allmusic)
All songs written and composed by Miles Davis except where noted
1. “So What”
2. “Freddie Freeloader”
3. “Blue in Green” (Miles Davis and Bill Evans)
4. “All Blues”
5. “Flamenco Sketches” (Miles Davis and Bill Evans)
- Miles Davis – trumpet, band leader
- Julian “Cannonball” Adderley – alto saxophone, except on “Blue in Green”
- Paul Chambers – double bass
- Jimmy Cobb – drums
- John Coltrane – tenor saxophone
- Bill Evans – piano (except “Freddie Freeloader”), liner notes
- Wynton Kelly – piano on “Freddie Freeloader”
Miles Davis – Kind of Blue 50th Anniversary:
1959 – The Year that changed Jazz.
A very good documentary from BBC. Four absolutely canonical LPs were recorded that year: Kind of Blue by Miles Davis; Time Out by Dave Brubeck; Mingus Ah Um by Charles Mingus; and The Shape of Jazz to Come by Ornette Coleman. Good interviews and great music:
Album of the day:
Maria Luisa McKee (born August 17, 1964, Los Angeles, California) is an American singer and songwriter. She is best known for her work with Lone Justice and her 1990 UK solo chart-topping hit, “Show Me Heaven”.
Gary Talley (The Box Tops) was born in 1947.
From garytalley.com: In 1967, while still an infant, Gary Talley began his career as lead guitarist for the Grammy-nominated group, The Box Tops. Their “blue-eyed soul” hits like “The Letter,” and “Cry Like a Baby” hit the charts like a tornado, selling millions of copies, and they continue to sweep across the country on radio stations today. The Box Tops disbanded in 1970, but their reunion nearly 30 years later in 1997 was kicked off with a national tour at the House of Blues in Hollywood. Gary still tours and records with the group, contributing original songs and background vocals.
Alan Eugene Jackson (born October 17, 1958) is an American country music singer, known for blending traditional honky tonk and mainstream country sounds and penning many of his own hits. He has recorded 13 studio albums, 3 Greatest Hits albums, 2 Holiday albums, 1 Gospel album and several compilations, all on the Arista Nashville label. More than 50 of his singles have appeared on Billboard’s list of the “Top 30 Country Songs”. Of Jackson’s entries, 35 were number-one hits, with 50 in the Top 10. He is the recipient of 2 Grammys, 16 CMA Awards, 17 ACM Awards and nominee of multiple other awards. Jackson is also a member of the Grand Ole Opry, and he was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 2001.
Steve Gorman (born 17 August 1965, Muskegon, Michigan) is a musician best known as the drummer of the American hard rock band The Black Crowes. He also spent some time as the drummer for British rock band Stereophonics.
Sources: Wikipedia, Allmusic, Rolling Stone magazine, Alljazz, Garytalley.com, theguardian.com