Miles Davis – Kind of Blue

My Mom doesn’t like real jazz.  I’ll admit it.  I don’t like it or understand it, but it’s true.  I’ve tried, Lord knows I’ve tried…but the closest she gets to it is Dixieland Jazz.  Not that Dixieland is bad, but the kind they listen too seems to only appeal to older upper class white folk.   I played this for her and her reply was:

“I just don’t get it.”

At that point I declared that I had no mother and moved to the mountains.  But I digress.

This album is a classic example of an artist in his prime.  Better yet, he brought along a handful of some of the most talented jazz musicians in history to help him out: Bill Evans, John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderly, Jimmy Cobb, Paul Chambers and Wynton Kelly.  Legend has it Davis brought them all together in the studio went over what he wanted to, they talked about key and direction and then just started recording.  Supposedly they only did two takes of every song and what they produced is nothing short-of amazing.  Even people who don’t like jazz (my mother not included) love this album.

I once heard someone refer to the artist’s playing as “restrained intensity.”  I like that phrase a lot.  It sounds like every note is staining forward, yet being held back at the same time.  Favorites are ‘So What’ (playing above) and ‘Freddie Freeloader.’

If I had a dime for every rainy day this album got me through, I’d have at least $5… because I live in Southern California.



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