In this controversial cover story, Marc Myers raises points and counterpoints as to whether Kind of Blue deserves the credit as the most celebrated jazz album.
Indeed, Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue remains one of the most-if not the most-revered albums of all time. While I prefer the music that Miles recorded with Gil Evan, and there are other jazz recordings that I more readily gravitate toward, I still mention Kind of Blue whenever someone who knows little about jazz asks me to recommend a great jazz album.
I was lucky enough to meet Miles about a year before he died. I so wanted him to give me his perspective about the Kind of Blue phenomenon, but we wound up not talking about music at all. Instead, we chatted about life and family as he poured over the proofs from a photo session we’d just developed for a JAZZIZ cover story (the classic shot with his “quiet gesture” finger to his mouth). Like Miles himself, Kind of Blue was bigger than jazz. Accordingly, both its triumphs and failures will be analyzed forever.
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