Kind of Blue Album is by Miles Davis, the American, Jazz musician. The album was released on the 17th of August 1959 by Columbia Records, now part of Sony Music Entertainment.
It is regarded by many devotees as the most significant record of the genre, a work of art by Miles and some would argue that Kind of Blue is one of the all-time great albums.
The far-reaching influence the record has had over the years, touching many different types of music from jazz through to classical and even rock has led to writers to call it one of the most one of the most important albums in recorded history.
Miles Davis recorded Kind of Blue on the 2nd of March 1959 at the Columbia 30th Street Studio, New York. The studio, known as the ” The Church “, is still regarded as one of the best recording studios ever. The 1957 Original Broadway Cast recording of Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story was recorded there and later in 1979 Pink Floyd’s iconic album, The Wall. The building, no longer in use, was demolished and replaced with a residential building.
Kind of Blue featured pianist Bill Evans, drummer Jimmy Cobb, bassist Paul Chambers along with saxophonists John Coltrane and Julian ‘ Cannonball ‘ Adderley. Pianist Wynton Kelly performed on one track.
Miles gave little rehearsal time for the musicians, who often had little forward warning what they were to record. The band were given rough sketches of scales along with melody lines, for which they improvised.
The album was recorded over two sessions, not the one take that legend suggests, with only one track, ” Flamenco Sketches “, being completed on the first take.
The first track, ” So What “, was released on the 17th of August 1959. Gil Evans wrote the piano-and-bass duet introduction for William John Evans, professionally known as Bill Evans ( no relation to Gil ) and Paul Chambers, whose playing on the single is considered by many jazz aficionados to be one of the most skillfully and complementary bass playing in the history of jazz.
The track is performed at a very moderate tempo for the album. Later it was often played at a much faster tempo, like for the album Four & More: Recorded Live in Concert, recorded on the 12th of February 1964 at the Philharmonic Hall of Lincoln Center, New York City.
In 2008, Dennis Hopper, the American actor, director and photographer, claimed in an interview with Men’s Journal, the monthly men’s lifestyle magazine, that the song was named after philosophical discussions that he and Miles had engaged in many times. Dennis would simply reply to arguments put forward by Miles with ” so what “.
Several of the songs from the album has gone on to become jazz standards. The exact sales figure for Kind of Blue has been disputed for many years.
Some have cited the album as the best selling jazz album of all time. In 2008, the Recording Industry Association of America ( RIAA ) certified it 4x Platinum, meaning sales are in the four million bracket.
About Miles Davis
Miles Dewey Davis III was born on the 26th of May 1926 in Alton, a city roughly fifteen miles from St. Louis, Illinois, United States.
He grew up in an affluent African-American family with his mother, a music teacher and violinist and his dentist father.
Miles was given a trumpet for his thirteenth birthday by a friend of his father. Best known as a jazz trumpeter, Miles also played the fluegelhorn or Flugelhorn as it’s sometimes known, a type of trumpet which originates from 18th century Germany.
After being sent to study at Juilliard one of the leading music and dance schools, he began playing in local clubs.
His debut album, The New Sounds, released in 1951, was the first as the leader along with being the first complete album for label Prestige Records, who would be Miles’ record label for five years until his signing with Columbia in 1955.
To date, Mile Davis’ Album releases are fifty-one studio albums, thirty-six live albums, thirty-five Compilations, twenty-seven Video albums, three remix and seventeen box sets. Also, released are fifty-seven singles and seventy-two Collaborations. Figures do not include bootlegs.
As a multi-award-winning recording artist, Miles Davis had won many awards during his career including nine Grammys, three Down Beat Readers Polls for Best Trumpet Player in 1955, 57 and 61.
On the 16th of July 1991, he was awarded the Knight of the Legion of Honor ( Ordre national de la Légion d’honneur ). The award, established by Napoléon Bonaparte in 1802 it is the highest French order of merit in France.
Miles was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006 and Hollywood’s Rockwalk, with St. Louis Walk of Fame four years later.
Miles Davis died on the 28th of September 1991 at the age of 65.
Kind of Blue Track Listing:
1. So What
2. Freddie Freeloader
3. Blue in Green
4. All Blues
5. Flamenco Sketches
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