Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue — released 55 years ago today (August 17, 1959) —
… is a nearly unique thing in music or any other creative realm: a huge hit—the best-selling jazz album of all time—and the spearhead of an artistic revolution. Everyone, even people who say they don’t like jazz, likes Kind of Blue. It’s cool, romantic, melancholic, and gorgeously melodic. But why do critics regard it as one of the best jazz albums ever made? What is it about Kind of Blue that makes it not just pleasant but important?
Fred Kaplan tells us Why Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue is so great.
The sextet consisted of Miles Davis (trumpet), John Coltrane (tenor sax), Cannonball Adderley (alto sax), Paul Chambers (bass), Jimmy Cobb (drums) and Bill Evans (piano). Wynton Kelly replaced Evans on “Freddie Freeloader.”
Everyone — every one — should own this album (if you own it, you will listen to it). It rarely costs more than $10, and you can get it from iTunes right now for $6.99.
“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.” — allmusic
To this day Kind of Blue sells 5,000 copies a week.