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Sometimes, great ones need no rehearsal

One of the band members confirmed later that this album was recorded without a rehearsal.
One of the band members confirmed later that this album was recorded without a rehearsal.
Original Cover: Columbia Records

Record album by Miles Davis: Kind of Blue (1959)

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Here’s why this album should be in your collection!

Some music historians are now challenging the story that Miles Davis recorded every track on Kind of Blue (1959) in one take. So what!

Serious jazz fans are expected to own this album. Davis’s band included musicians who would become legends in their own right: Julian “Cannonball” Adderly (alto sax), Paul Chambers (bass), Jimmy Cobb (drums), John Coltrane (tenor sax), and Bill Evans (piano). Wynton Kelly (piano) performed on the track “Freddie Freeloader.”

The other classic tracks are “So What,” “Blue in Green,” “All Blues,” and “Flamenco Sketches.” For serious collectors, the 50th Anniversary Edition includes several alternate takes.

Alternate takes? No: the one-take legend can’t be dismissed that easily. Evans later confirmed that Davis gave the band members only snippets of what they would play (called modal sketches) and insisted on no rehearsal. The rest-- as they say-- is history.

This album is available in vinyl, CD, and MP3 format from major vendors. Please consider purchasing it from a local independent record store.

Here’s an interesting fact!

Another popular legend about jazz serendipity involves Louis Armstrong and the recording of the song “Heebie Jeebies” in 1926. After a night of hard partying, Satchmo was sober enough to play his cornet, but apparently not enough to avoid tripping over the music stand that held the song’s lyrics. What happened next may not have been the first instance of scat singing-- but it remains one of that vocal style’s most beautiful examples.