When did I eventually buy this recording (on CD, of course)? It must have been in the late 1980s. When I became interested in Jazz, 1977 or 1978, it was that of Miles’ epigones: Chick Corea, whatever he did; John McLaughlin’s Shakti; Joe Zawinul’s Weather Report. Believe it or not, I was a blood donor during my undergraduate studies in the 1970s, with the mere purpose to be able to buy every three month another LP of my heroes. Miles was sick at that time. He had disappeared from the scene. It was a couple of years before his long-awaited comeback with “The Man with the Horn”, 1980. To be honest, I didn’t love that album. I was more interested in 10 years old Bitches Brew, for me still egregious music.
I had an academic career, consuming, both time and energy. I kept interested in modern music, Rock music attracted more of my attention. I never missed Miles, however. For some time my motto became “So what?”, and I was humming that phrase when necessary. I loved the simplicity of that particular piece. I saw him only once, in the end of the 1980s, a couple of months only before he deceased. It was a magic moment. Miles was already very frail but I saw how he was inspiring his very young band members, in particular Foley McCreary (what has happened to him?).
Kind of Blue had been recorded 50 years ago, on only two occasions: March 2 and April 22, 1959. It was released in October that very year. Three geniuses were involved, Miles (tp), John Coltrane (ts) and Bill Evans (p), as well as four exceptional musicians, Cannonball Adderly (as), Paul Chambers (b), Jimmy Cobb (dr), and Wynton Kelly (p, only on Freddie Freeloader).
Kind of Blue is considered that Jazz album of all time. Maybe it’s true. Did it change my life? Not at all! Thank you, Miles, anyway.