Friday, April 12, 2013

Impact Records: Miles Davis "Kind of Blue"

Part Two of the ongoing series of records that made an impact on me as a young musician. Read Part One Here.

Recommended by my first saxophone teacher, "Kind of Blue" was the first jazz album I purchased (as seems to be the case with many budding jazz musicians).  I liked the saxophones but they were too darn fast for me! Miles' playing stood out and eventually I started playing along with bits and pieces of his solos - his solo on "So What" must rank high on the list of 'most transcribed solos'... though I didn't write out the solos I tried learning from records. Along the way I tried picking up bits & pieces from Coltrane and Adderley too.
The couple of listenings I have given it this week have been the first for a while. In fact, I don't remember listening through the entire album in a sitting since the initial listening after replacing the original cassette (!) with CD some years ago. This week my ears have been drawn to the rhythm section - Cobb's ride cymbal, the chordal work and comping of Evans, and the simplicity and clarity of Chambers. There's something about the running time of LPs that I enjoy - not too long, not too short. It seems many people feel the need to fill the 80 minutes of a cd when often it's not necessary. Perhaps with vinyls revival and digital domination this will change.

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