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Kind Of Blue
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Kind Of Blue
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Well, if you're going to revamp your jazz catalog, you might as well start with the greatest jazz album of all time! Includes a rare alternate take of Flamenco Sketches , and the first three songs are in their correct pitch for the first time.
This is the one jazz record owned by people who don't listen to jazz, and with good reason. The band itself is extraordinary (proof of Miles Davis's masterful casting skills, if not of God's existence), listing John Coltrane and Julian "Cannonball" Adderley on saxophones, Bill Evans (or, on "Freddie Freeloader," Wynton Kelly) on piano, and the crack rhythm unit of Paul Chambers on bass and Jimmy Cobb on drums. Coltrane's astringency on tenor is counterpoised to Adderley's funky self on alto, with Davis moderating between them as Bill Evans conjures up a still lake of sound on which they walk. Meanwhile, the rhythm partnership of Cobb and Chambers is prepared to click off time until eternity. It was the key recording of what became modal jazz, a music free of the fixed harmonies and forms of pop songs. In Davis's men's hands it was a weightless music, but one that refused to fade into the background. In retrospect every note seems perfect, and each piece moves inexorably towards its destiny. --John SzwedSee all Editorial Reviews
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It was many decades later that I heard a rebroadcast of a NPR special on the 25th?? anniversary of the album's release. Somehow I'd missed the original broadcast and was simply astonished to learn that it had affected so, so many others the same way it had me. I think perhaps I'd better order another copy to keep in reserve.
*H.H. Scott 222d amplifier, Pioneer turntable, Shure M97xe cartridge, AR2ax speakers.
I've owned just about every iteration of this album from vinyl to cassette to the first CD release, several imports, including the Japanese mini-LP version. I don't need to tell you about the album itself - you all know it's amazing except for the one one-star dope who thinks it's overrated. Uh huh.
Which brings us to THIS release, THIS Japanese import SACD. Let me tell you something: You think you know this album, you think you've HEARD this album? Not until you get this you haven't. The multi-track version on this SACD is mind-boggling - the clarity, detail, depth is breathtaking. The normal two-channel album master has always had anomalies that we all looked past because, you know, we didn't know better and the album was brilliant. And that two-channel mix is included and switching back and forth you can hear those anomalies instantly, mostly in the tone of both trumpet and Bill Evans' piano. On the multi-channel mix for trumpet tone is astonishing as is the piano. The ride cymbal is so real and crisp it's like you're sitting there right in front of everyone. This may be the best jazz SACD ever - it's that good. The price is right no matter what it is. You will not be disappointed, unless you have no ears. And there you have some thoughts about the SACD that's actually THIS item on THIS page. Happy to have been of service.
I do not fully understand what Miles Davis is doing with these compositions, but I like what I hear. If you have a more sophisticated "jazz ear" than me you will get even more bang for your buck (at least, if the Wiki page is on-target).
Perfect late night, low light listening too.
I'm listening to a digitized version through inexpensive headphones, so my comments on the sound quality would be - at best - highly subjective and badly nerfed. Look to other reviews for more nuanced analyses.
NEW INFO: My first copy had some severe glitches on the second track on Side 2 so I sent it back. My replacement copy has the same glitches but much less severe so I'll suck it up and keep this copy. Obviously a poor quality control pressing.