Saturday, 29 December 2012

Albums for Life: 75: Miles Davis: Kind of Blue

The story goes that when 'Kind of Blue' was released all aspiring trumpeter players attempted to play along and couldn't; sounded horrid, a pale imitation of Miles because "no-one plays like Miles". When Columbia came to remaster the album recently it was discovered that it had been previously rendered down by a tape machine that was running fast, hence the initial release was between the notes. Most musicians would call that a lemon sucking moment, but it seemed to suit this recording for some reason and also explained why nobody could play along. No-one liked the new 'in tune' version' so the powers returned it to its original imperfect state.
Many folk say the moment when Cannonball Adderly launches into his 'So What' sax solo at 3.25 was the birth of Modern Jazz.

I don't claim to understand jazz, I just know when something's right; the feel of this whole album is just so perfectly chilled. I know a Kindergarden teacher who plays 'So What' to calm her kids just before they have their morning nap. Miles goes 'budubbadubbadubbadubba' and the kids reply 'baba'; I keep listening for the black sheep but they never come; kind of surreal, kind of hilarious and kind of reassuring that the Kind of Blue touch paper is being lit so early...


  1. Such a great record. Never grows stale. I'm still undecided on which Miles album to include.

  2. I know this is the seminal album but I have always preferred Sketches of Spain.