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Miles Davis - Kind Of Blue CD (album) cover

KIND OF BLUE

Miles Davis

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.34 | 1051 ratings

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aglasshouse
4 stars Jazz with pizzazz- a phrase with many 'z's but in reference to an artist that keeps doesn't let you sleep a wink.

Miles Davis was a pioneer for his time, undoubtedly. Although not as progressively experimental as future jazz fusion bands like Return to Forever and Mahavishnu Orchestra, Davis (among a other notable jazz groups/musicians) did a complete turnover on the jazz scene around the end of the 50's and the rest of the 60's with unheard-of experimentation. Incomprehensible by many of the jazz critics at the time, artists like Davis were scolded for changing the industry in such a drastic way, but over time garnered sensational praise with how revolutionary they were.

While not exactly jazz-rock fusion like electric period Davis, Kind of Blue is no doubt progressive jazz. While following typical 4/4 standard (mainly with the drumming by Jimmy Cobb), the famous dual saxophonists John Coltrane and "Cannonball" Adderley tender an eclectic vocal-like melody of illustrious toots in a back-and-forth sort of way. They are really what make this album what it is, as they can change in a snap without hesitation from soft to booming. Miles Davis himself is very similar, except as the royal trumpeter of this engagement hitting the highest notes. The brass section really does a good conjoined job of throwing up some unique patterns unseen on most jazz albums of the time. A problem much jazz faces is that sometimes the saxophone/trumpet/really any kind of brass overcomes all other instruments. This means it's up to the brass to be unique with such a mainline part, and much like vocals, if not done correctly can lead to some extremely irritating music. This is untrue of Kind of Blue- Davis, Coltrane, and Cannonball make for a really unique and creative experience that doesn't fade in quality even after all these years.

Enough about the brass, how's the rest of the band? Cobb is a standard drummer but I laud him for his vitality to keep up a clean beat even when faced with a doozy like 'All Blues', an eleven minute epic. Paul Chambers on bass and Bill Evans (and Wynton Kelly even though he only plays on track two) on the keys really go hand in hand as the backup. They rarely get moments to shine as a fronting instrument, they always manage to keep a cool and laidback atmosphere, really working well with the idea of cool-jazz better than most.

Kind of Blue is not fusion in the slightest but it is undeniably a classic. It deserves reverence and I suggest you hasten to check it out.

aglasshouse | 4/5 |

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