Tuesday 18 August 2009

News: Kind of Blue at 50

A break from the summer hiatus to mark the 50th anniversary of Miles Davis' Kind of Blue, released in August 1959. Features on the album and its significance abound, but the best can be found in Slate by Fred Kaplan, here:
"The album's legacy is mixed, precisely for this reason. It opened up a whole new path of freedom to jazz musicians: Those who had something to say thrived; those who didn't, noodled. That's the dark side of what Miles Davis and George Russell (and, a few months later, Ornette Coleman, in his own even-freer style of jazz) wrought: a lot of noodling—New Age noodling, jazz-rock-fusion noodling, blaring-and-squealing noodling—all of it baleful, boring, and deadly (literally deadly, given the rise of tight and riveting rock 'n' roll). Some of their successors confused freedom with just blowing whatever came into their heads, and it turned out there wasn't much there."

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