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 ·
HURBRET
This album is not just essential for a Jazz musician or fan to own, it is pretty much essential for everyone to own provided they don't hate the genre. I mean, first of all, the music is all performed by an all-star cast, but also, Kind of Blue was recorded without the musicians knowing the tunes too well, and this is what makes it so great, you can hear how brilliant all the musicians are as improvisers. Of course, its modality contributes to a very melodic type of improvisation, it gives the musicians much more freedom with their solos and, in the piano's case, comping. It kicks off with some subtle chords from the piano (Bill Evans) trading off with phrases in the bass (Paul Chambers) and soon evolves into 'So What,' a tune so famous that even if you don't know who Miles Davis is, you may well have heard this. Brilliant solos, pretty high energy considering how relaxed the head had been. The album picks up the pace with 'Freddie Freeloader,' this time with Wynton Kelly on piano. It's a blues. The album then puts the pace back down, leading to the beautiful ballad 'Blue in Green.' This is the most relaxed the album gets, and may be the most relaxed any album ever gets. Also great is 'All Blues,' yet another that people who don't know Jazz probably know. It is a blues, but I never would have guessed it. The repeated chord on the piano almost disguises it. And finally, 'Flamenco Sketches,' an experiment in modality. Well there you have it. The greatest album ever? Maybe. The most laid back? Definitely.
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