The "CD for jazz newbies", it's remarkably tame, considering the presence of John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley, two of the fire-breathing-est saxists of the day. But since the musicians had no idea that Miles would foist this -- a set of compositions built on modes instead of traditional chord changes -- upon them, methinks they all acquitted themselves quite goodfully. This is the music that influenced The Doors, The Dead, and other rawk jammists, past and present, but few, if any, could have kept up with the directions Coltrane, Miles Davis, and Wayne Shorter (et al) later took from KoB's slight, sketchy modal jazz blueprint. Newbies should move on to Shorter's 60's stuff.

It seems to me that this album, (an album before it was a CD) was arranged by Bill Evans, pianist, arranger, and composer extraordinaire.

It is through these arrangements, and Evans, that George Russell's Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization, a notion of modes, becomes popularized.

Cult classic recorded In 1959, by Miles Davis, saxophonists Julian “Cannonball” Adderley and John Coltrane, pianists Bill Evans and Wynton Kelly, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Jimmy Cobb.

Although Blue consisted of only five tracks: “So What,” “Freddie Freeloader,” “All Blues,” “Blue in Green” and “Flamenco Sketches,” it is considered one of the most influential and "accessible" jazz recording of all time.

Simply great music, all of it rather mellow and cool; this music is what people think jazz is all about. It's so popular it's become sort of cliché, even.

Someone playing jazz today can hardly grasp the change this 'modal' stuff meant to the jazz scene, then, because today, we're taking it for granted that chords are scales and scales are chords, so to say. To me, playing the piano in "All Blues" (which is supposed to be modal jazz) or pre-modal jazz like "Caravan" is not really all that different.

The fascinating thing about this music is the simplicity of its concept. It doesn't take a master to play "All Blues" -- the theme is simple and an adequate accompaniment is not very hard to deliver either. This extreme simplicity, however, enables masters such as the stellar outfit that Miles Davis put together for this record to become immensely creative.

If you are prejudiced about how jazz is just the boring soundtrack to a neverending night in a cocktail bar, this album will not change your opinion. The last thing this will give you is a cheap thrill. But chances are you will enjoy it anyway.

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.