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As a smooth jazz journalist, I sincerely support the smooth jazz genre, as I adore the sound and recognize the diligence and hard work artists and musicians place into their craft.

  sheila e ross

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Jazz Reviews on JazzNet247 Radio Europe

Artist : Miles Davis

Album : Kind Of Blue

Year : 1959

Label : Columbia

julie london

: Miles Davis : Trumpet | John Coltrane : Saxophone | Cannonball Adderley : Saxophone | Bill Evans : Piano | Paul Chambers : Bass | Jimmy Cobb : Drums

Miles Dewey Davis III was born in 1926 and for the next five decades he adopted a variety of musical styles which were to set him apart from most other jazz musicans. He was always trying to re-invent his jazz style and became the benchmark for so many other great jazz musicians. Indeed his early days in jazz saw him play with musicians such as Coleman Hawkins, Eddie 'Lockjaw' Davis, Herbie Fields, Earl Coleman and even replaced the maestro himself Dizzy Gillespie in Charlie Parker's Quintet in 1945.

In 1959 Miles assembled a sextet which included himself on trumpet, Bill Evans on piano, John Coltrane on tenor sax, Cannonball Adderley on alto sax, Paul Chambers on bass and Jimmy Cobb on drums and between March and April of that year recorded what was to become the vanguard of Modal Jazz with an album called Kind Of Blue which during my time at Sony Jazz was our best selling jazz album. Miles forgot to tell his 'Go To' pianist Wynton Kelly that he was going to use Bill Evans on the album, but Kelly did make an appearance on the album on the wonderful 'Freddie Freeloader'.

Kind Of Blue was an instant success with widespread airplay and rave reviews, but an interesting note is that the cost of the album was relatively low, Columbia paid Davis a few thousand dollars in advance and the other musicians received only 'Union Rates' for nine hours of recording. The four reels of tapes and cost of the piano tuner were coupled with the enginer's salaries, but even they were on staff rates. So what was to become the best selling jazz album of all time cost very little to produce, the marketer's dream :>)

Two noteworthy aspects of Kind Of Blue were that Davis' bands did not play any of the tunes again apart from 'So What' and 'All Blues' and secondly, although Miles explored Modal Jazz with his second great Quintet which included Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and Tony Williams in the mid 1960's he did not take these Modal Experiments much further at that time.

It was one of the musicians on Kind Of Blue, John Coltrane who took over that mantle in the 1960's.  ^

Review by Wes George
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Similar Artists - Freddie Hubbard, Dizzy Gillespie, Chet Baker, Clifford Brown, Wynton Marsalis, Lee Morgan, Donald Byrd, Clark Terry, Art Farmer, Don Cherry

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