Thank you, you’ve convinced me. I just purchased a copy and should be able to get started on it in about a week’s time. Given your comments, I should be able to slot it in around other books I’m reading.
What a great album! I’m fond of it for being quickly accessible but also for being so rewarding when you’re in the mood and can concentrate on it properly. In spite of liking it very much, I’ve yet to listen properly to Oliver Nelson’s other albums. There are so many rabbit holes still to tumble down!
Critics frequently hail Kind of Blue as his magnum opus, but I far prefer the psychedelic ferocity of Tribute to Jack Johnson, the claustrophobic frenzy of Bitches Brew, the elegant minimalism of In a Silent Way, the catching restlessness of Miles Smiles, and the cinematic stateliness of Sketches of Spain.
Agreed! I like to call Miles “the father of a hundred great jazz careers” because over the course of producing brilliant record after brilliant record, he played with and introduced to the world dozens of amazing, though at the time, lesser-known musicians. These artists include Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Tony Williams, Dave Holland, Ron Carter, and John McLaughlin, just to name a few. All of these guys are legends now. Perhaps most impressively, though, is that despite being surrounded by guys with such serious chops, Miles was always the coolest guy in the room.
That’s why I love this video of Miles playing “So What” alongside John Coltrane. Though “So What” is a great track that swings harder than anything else on Kind of Blue, what I love most about this clip is seeing a 30-something-year-old Miles, with his neckerchief perfectly tied, nonchalantly staring into the distance and swaggering ever-so-slightly—the epitome of the phrase “effortlessly cool”—while Trane, arguably the superior musician, performs his solo at 2:40.
Also quite late. I have a lot of Miles records and I am glad @wkesquire brought up Sketches. Along with Milestones, among my favorites. That is a fantastic listen and I, personally, feel Sketches to be a great representation of a sound that is somewhat between the classic “cool jazz” vibes of *Kind of Blue (which happens to be my older dog’s name) and the XXX with the Miles Davis Quintet mentioned earlier, and then the more contemporary era where he truly began to play with more instruments and different sounds.
Don’t think I saw it mentioned, but also consider giving Tutu a listen.
Am I the only one who considers In a Silent Way to be another top highlight of Davis’ Career? Yes, I have 3 recordings of Kind of Blue - an old vinyl, a CD, and a fancy newer “audiophile vinyl” re-release, but I really like the move toward Jazz Fusion, and Zawinul is one of my favorite musicians ever.
In a Silent Way is my favorite Davis record. It changed the way I listen to music. And as for fusion records, The Inner Mounting Flame by John McLaughlin’s band Mahavishnu Orchestra is another favorite of mine.
Yes, I’ve got a few John McLaughlin albums in my old vinyl as well. I think My Goals Beyond was one of the first solo albums of his that got regular play in college. Time is certainly right, graduated high school in ‘72, so it would have been fresh, new, and a break from listening to Zep and King Crimson, and a way to stick it to the Iron Butterfly listeners…
I’m working my way through all the vinyl in my house and rediscovering some stuff I had long since put aside. Not a huge Bill Watrous fan, but his stuff with The Manhattan Wildlife Refuge Big Band holds up better than I remembered. They are also not on any streaming I could find, so if you see an album for .25, it would be worth a look.
I didn’t find a Blues topic anywhere, so asking here…
What’s your “start here” list for Blues albums?
Ya know, Jazz equivalents might be Kind of Blue, A Love Supreme, Mingus Ah Um, Monk’s Dream, Ellington at Newport, etc…
And those jazz records may not make your top 10 list, but definitely in my first 10 for someone to start sampling.