Monday, March 16, 2009

Green: Blue in Green

Miles Davis: Blue in Green


Miles Davis was a musical genius. I do not use the term lightly. But Miles had the ability to hear in his head music that no one had ever heard before. And he did this at least three times in his career. First, he heard cool jazz when everyone else was blowing hot. Next, he created an acoustic jazz sound where the structure of the songs was implied rather than stated. And finally, and most radically of all, Miles, for better or worse, created fusion jazz. And remember that, regardless of what fusion became, the electric music of Miles Davis was a true fusion, representing the full potential of what electric jazz could be.

Kind of Blue was the album that represented the epitome of Miles Davis’ cool jazz sound. In contrast to the loud and showy hot jazz of the day, the music of Kind of Blue is quiet, and emphasizes the ensemble sound over soloing. The solos are there, but they arise organically out of the group sound. And, in the midst of this, there is the song Blue in Green. Here, for my money, is the perfect jazz ballad. I could possibly say more, but it isn’t necessary. The song says it all.


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