All-Time Albums: #51


MILES DAVIS Kind of Blue

So What 9:03
2 Freddie Freeloader 9:33
3 Blue In Green 5:26
All Blues 11:31
5 Flamenco Sketches 9.25

Obvious, moi? One of the most famous jazz albums of all-time it may be, but it’s also sublime. Kind of Blue never charted upon its release in 1959, yet it has long since acquired classic status and a 1990s reissue did see it finally hit the lower end of the UK Top 75. So What is probably the most famous piece of popular jazz, outside of Take Five by Dave Brubeck.

I have had a penchant for certain types of jazz ever since 1986, and the Absolute Beginners film and soundtrack (as well as the book, to an extent). The likes of Sade, Working Week and The Style Council had also whetted my appetite for that certain cool vibe from the late ’50s and early ’60s. My introduction to Miles Davis, however, stemmed from his late 1986 set Tutu, a very contemporary record produced by Marcus Miller with electronic rhythms and samples to the fore. It was closer to Scritti Politti than John Coltrane.

I came to Kind of Blue pretty late on, sometime around 2002. We were visiting family friends and I got to hear the album on a seriously kick-ass stereo set-up that they had. So What blew my little mind. I went and got the album, and a Columbia-era compilation very soon after. I’d really only been interested in the ’80s and ’90s Miles Davis stuff until then.

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