Kind of Blue' by Miles Davis has always been my favorite jazz album. Throughout my life I have turned to 'Blue' like a Christian would turn to a cross. The purity of the sounds that were captured from these sessions were magical & angelic. It doesn't matter if I am happy or 'Blue' either. Earlier this week I threw on my Sony headphones to see if these tunes would take me to that unreachable place in my mind. To be honest I will have to say that it took me even further than before. "IT" was still alive. The beast that awakens from this 1959 recording is amazing. The CD itself had laid there for months, like a hibernating bear. Once I hit play that bear awakened and roared & growled. Listen to 'Kind of Blue' in your car, at home, alone; with a group of friends, it doesn't matter. This is Jazz for me. Davis' and company's genius is prevalent in each tune.
My live review of 'Kind of Blue'
1) So What.
It's like Davis and company are messing with the listener's minds. Their 'not give a damn' title of 'So What' creates the 9 + minute mood that sets the pace for the jungle in which the listener is about to trudge through. It's a slow dance with piano & Davis' trumpet directing a cadence that cannot be matched. The elevation that this song reaches is higher than the heavens and louder than a cosmic boom. "IT" is alive. Feel like doing some finger popping snaps, with a Gregory Hines tap, tap. I can see now why poets & writers from the 1950s drowned their ears in this beautiful music. Whirling through and through on this with Kind of Blue...
2) Freddie Freeloader
The dancing piano keys in this track places the listener on the outskirts of a Jazz bar in Harlem. It's right within reach of the crowd that's slowly filing into the joint. But the bystander just stands in a euphoric daze, hypnotized by what he/she is hearing. Then Davis introduces his melodic trumpet sound. The smoke is rising from the cigarettes of the patrons & all you see is Davis on stage ( back turned) placing his soul in front of that crowd. The devil is there, but he can't touch Miles. That's when Coltrane fires up his groovin' pitchfork sound that takes this song to another universe. It's okay for you to bop your head to the tune. That's what Wynton Kelly's piano keys tell you. So you bop, bop, bop... Before you know it you are captured by the Freeloader himself.
3) Blue In Green
This is where the mood shifts to a rainy street in the mind. It's pouring and the woman who lost her lover during the war heads to a private eye. She hopes he can find her lost love. The man in the fedora is known for his skills and has found dozens people in his career, but you know in the end it's going to be like a Hollywoodized script. They will fall in love and walk into the black & white night hand in hand. The looks, the eye contact, flirtatious in every way. Davis' soul is bare. Notes of despair dance alone into the air.
4) All Blues
Keeping with the same mood as 'Blue In Green', but not as naked. 'All Blues' like all of the tracks on 'Kind of Blue' are intertwined like a fine piece of fabric. It's a lil' more upbeat, but you can tell Miles & company don't want to take you to the pinnacle, they keep it mellow enough just to not be depressing. The title 'All Blues' is probably one of Davis' head games, because this song is far from being ALL BLUES. Scat, a tat, tat, wom, boom, bat.
5) Flamenco Sketches
Now we are back to a bluesy place. Miles' trumpet paves the way for the highway that he has created so far. 'Flamenco Sketches' is probable one of the most beautifully arranged pieces in the history of music. Adderley, Coltrane, Davis' playing all meld into this track. It's seductive on a level that isn't perverted. It's divine on a level that's not quite saintly. It's ahhhhhhhhhhhh muzik. Those piano keys are dancing now. Uh huh. Capture the mood. Keep that mysticism that is Miles Davis. That's how this album ends with a sunset that never sets