Monday, September 28, 2009
Miles DAVIS - Kind Of Blue 1954 (REPOST)
Label: Columbia Legacy-Sony
Release Date: 03/25/1997
Perhaps the most influential & best-selling jazz record ever made. If this is your first encounter with Kind of Blue, be forewarned that it’s likely to become an indispensable part of your life.
More than a milestone in jazz, Kind Of Blue is a defining moment of twentieth century music, one of those incredibly rare works of art that achieve equal popularity among musicians, critics, and public at large. The rest of us might tend to agree with Jimmy Cobb, the drummer on the album, who commented on Kind of Blue that it “must have been made in heaven.” Don’t we all enjoy taste of heaven now and then?
If this is your first encounter with Kind of Blue, be forewarned that it’s likely to become an indispensable part of your life. But chances are you’ve encountered Kind of Blue before, and are wondering why you need another edition. Apart from the addition of a bonus track, one reason is much improved sound. Early digital remasterings sounded thin and piping to connoisseur’s ears; this reissue was remixed on an all-tube three track machine, an old Presto much like the one used for the original recordings. Now the instruments sound rich and full, like real instruments rather than tinny simulacra. Another reason, if you happen to be a musician, you may have already noticed another problem when you tried tried to play along with earlier versions of Kind Of Blue. Three tunes were in the wrong key, which means that the original album and all subsequent reissues were recorded at the wrong speed – making all the pitches slightly sharper than in “real life.” Here, for the first time, is Kind Of Blue complete, sounding big and rich and true to life and right on key. If you are going to heaven, might as well go first-class all the way.
With BIRTH OF THE COOL, Miles Davis distilled a new tonal palette for jazz. As early as 1954, Miles reacted to the escalating chordal complexity of hard bop by fashioning an evocative blues based on a simple scalar pattern ("Swing Spring"). KIND OF BLUE was the ultimate fulfilment of this approach,with Miles providing his collaborators little more than outlines for melodies and simple scales for improvisation. By emphasising the blues and the improvisor's melodic gifts, KIND OF BLUE precipitated a major stylistic development--modal jazz.
Charles Mingus had experimented with pedal points throughout the 1950s, and the melodic freedom of Ornette Coleman's Atlantic sides was also predicated on freedom from chord changes. But KIND OF BLUE was to prove the most influential, enduring work of its kind. There was just such a vibe about these 1959 sessions--Miles' lyric genius and burgeoning stardom, the innovative voicings and rarefied touch of pianist Bill Evans, the electrifying presence of Coltrane and Cannonball--that some thirty-plus years after its initial release, KIND OF BLUE is still recognised as Davis' point of departure towards jazz's less-explored regions.
Bill Evans' translucent chords and Paul Chambers' famous bass line heraldthe revolution that is "So What": Davis and Evans' taut, coiled lyricism stands in sharp relief to the saxophonists' labyrinthine elation. The fat, shimmering beat of the classic Evans/Chambers/Cobb rhythm team is an oasis of calm throughout the childish blues "Freddie Freeloader". Often credited to Davis, "Blue In Green" is an Evans masterpiece, in which the rhythmic oasis becomes a smoky mirage for Davis' minor reveries on muted horn. The waltzing "All Blues" is one of thesmoothest, most swinging grooves in the history of jazz, while "Flamenco Sketches" reflects Miles fascination with the earthy melodies and brooding metaphors of the Iberian peninsula...a harbinger of his next masterpiece, SKETCHES OF SPAIN. KIND OF BLUE remains Miles Davis' most evocative piece of musical haiku.
Paul Chambers- Double bass
Miles Davis- Trumpet
John Coltrane- Tenor Saxophone
Wynton Kelly- Piano
Bill Evans- Piano
Jimmy Cobb- Drums
Julian "Cannonball" Adderley- Alto Saxophone
01. So What 9.22
02. Freddie Freeloader 9.46
03. Blue In Green 5.37
04. All Blues 11.33
05. Flamenco Sketches 9.26
06. Flamenco Sketches (Alternate Take) 9.32