History of Rock ‘n Jazz: Jazz Review
Kind of Blue – Miles Davis
Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue exemplifies my favorite merits of cool jazz. The bestselling jazz album is bursting with innovative music that is largely independent from the routine melody and rhythm that often accompanied jazz music before the records conception; its recordings perpetuate a sound that is both tranquil and engaging. The artists responsible for creating this widely recognized album are Miles Davis on trumpet, Jon Coltrane on tenor saxophone, Julian Adderley on alto saxophone, Paul Chambers on bass, Jimmy Cobb on drums, Bill Evans on piano and Wynton Kelly substituting in at piano for the piece Freddy Freeloader. In my opinion, what gave Kind of Blue its unique sounds are the eccentric conditions in which Davis required his musicians to record. Instead of providing each musician with a series of harmonies or chord progressions, Davis simply gave each musician parameters in which to perform their improvisation. There were five recordings on the original album; So What, Freddie Freeloader, Blue in Green, All Blues and Flamenco Sketches. My personal favorite is the second recording on the album, Freddie Freeloader. I enjoy its particular chord and phrase structure which is composed in the twelve-bar blues format. I also found it fascinating that Davis incorporated the beginning phrases of the first recording, So What, into Freddie Freeloader. Speaking less formally, I greatly appreciated the (only) piano solo performed by Wynton Kelly early in the recording; it was one of the only times in my young life that music has, somewhat unexplainably, ‘taken me away’ from my current worries—something that has inspired me to further investigate his work. Kelly’s improvisation sounded light, playful and optimistic, in a way contrasting the slightly provocative tone of the rest of the piece. My second favorite record on the album is Flamenco Sketches. I found the way that Davis performed during the...
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