MILES DAVIS — Kind of Blue (review)

MILES DAVIS — Kind of Blue album cover Album · 1959 · Cool Jazz Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
dreadpirateroberts
Is it hyperbole to call this one the Birth of Cool?

Yeah, I know. 'Cool' started earlier. And 'Kind of Blue' has a healthy dose of modal jazz too. But there aren't a lot of 'cool jazz' albums like this. It's a jewel in jazz history itself. And it's so easy to rave about 'Kind of Blue' when you're sitting there between the headphones (or speakers) just drifting away ...

If you're unfamiliar with the album, then consider it filled with cool, gentle and cool-bop or 'nod-along' moments, executed with a precision that is stunning. Soloing from lead players is top notch, the rhythm section remains unobtrusive while still holding everything together, and the compositions themselves are the kinds that you instantly feel must be classics. I wish I could hear this album again for the first time.

Part of what makes 'Kind of Blue' for me, is the balance of cool and warm tones. Adderley and Coltrane's saxes (along with Chambers' bass) supply a lot of warmth, which is contrasted by Evans and Miles. On tracks like 'Blue in Green' or 'Flamenco Sketches' especially, Miles' trumpet evokes the sound of night. Of dark streets wet with rain. And even if that's a cliche, it feels right.

As a side note, I find myself enjoying the alternate take of 'Flamenco Sketches' (found on CD issues of 'Kind of Blue') better. Something about the way some of the solos are stretched, how notes are held. It's wonderful.

Five stars here, an essential masterpiece - of any musical genre.

Share this review

Review Comments

Post a public comment below | Send private message to the reviewer
Please login to post a shout
No shouts posted yet. Be the first member to do so above!

JMA TOP 5 Jazz ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
A Love Supreme Post Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners
Kind of Blue Cool Jazz
MILES DAVIS
Buy this album from our partners
The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady Progressive Big Band
CHARLES MINGUS
Buy this album from our partners
Blue Train Hard Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners
My Favorite Things Hard Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners

New Jazz Artists

New Jazz Releases

Mémoire De L'oubli : Images for Donald Ayler Avant-Garde Jazz
RAYMOND BONI
Buy this album from MMA partners
On to Something Good Post Bop
JOHN VENKIAH
Buy this album from MMA partners
Le Temps Retrouvé Post Bop
NATHALIE LORIERS
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Jazz Online Videos

A Stable Genius
GREG SMITH
js· 12 hours ago
Too Soon You're Old
PENNY GOODWIN
js· 15 hours ago
Living There
SEAN SONDEREGGER
js· 1 day ago
Wonderland, Pt. 1 (Comeback)
GENTIANE MG
js· 1 day ago
More videos

New JMA Jazz Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Jazz News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us