- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Da Capo Press; 6.3.2007 edition (July 3, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780306815584
- ISBN-13: 978-0306815584
- ASIN: 0306815583
- Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.5 x 8.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 20 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #405,638 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Kind of Blue: The Making of the Miles Davis Masterpiece Paperback – July 3, 2007
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Listen: What's so great about this book is it fulfills and hits the mark where so many other books fall short. This book is about HOW THE MUSIC WAS MADE. I've only read a couple other books about musicians that actually manage to pull this off. For example, Lewis Porter's John Coltrane, His Life and His Music and A Love Supreme, The Story of John Coltrane's Signature Album. This book hits the mark where writers like Chambers (Milestones) Thomas (Chasin' the Trane) Zappa (The Real Frank Zappa Book) fall short. When I read a book about Miles, Trane, Zappa, The Rolling Stones, Hendrix. I want to read about the music, the process of discovery. Kahn's books (along with Lewis Porter's) are the only books I've discovered that actually "get" the point of even writing the book. I don't care about the musician's personal habits and debauchery, I want to learn about THE MUSIC.
I'm not going into a bunch of details about this book. I'm going to tell you that this book is very well researched, contains lots of pictures I have never seen - though I've read 1/2 dozen or so books on Miles and own darn near all of those Legacy & Prestige remasters and boxsets with the new liner notes and photos. It's just a beautiful presentation. A book I will keep for the rest of my life though I wish I had the hardback edition.
This is an impressive work, it sets the high-water mark for music journalism and literature, period. It does not flirt with hero worship and it keeps Kahn's personal views in check. You get the the back-story, story, and the epilogue (not literally... well yes, literally but that isn't what I mean) of the story of Kind of Blue.
Hands down, this is the best book about music I have ever read. It was a quick, entertaining read. I was sorry when I arrived at the last page I enjoyed reading is so much and I'm sure I'll re-read it many times during the remainder of my life.
I also highly recommend Khan's book on A Love Supreme (that one flirts with hero-worship but it's still a great book).
Next: Impulse, The House That Trane Built.
A Kahn Wish: I would love to read a book by Khan on the Miles Davis/Gil Evans partnership. There is plenty to write about, including the way Miles (whom I dearly love despite his human flaws) used and abused Gil Evans talent and failed to compensate him fairly and without Evans' begging for what he did get in some cases (Filles de Kilamanjaro for example). I'm such a fan of this guy's work that I tried to find a way to contact him to suggest such a work but couldn't find any contact information. Kind of Blue is an awesome book but Kahn has only scratched the surface of the life and career of Miles Davis. Here's hoping there is more to come.