Thursday, February 12, 2009

Miles Dewey Davis III - Kind of Blue

Miles Dewey Davis III (May 26, 1926 – September 28, 1991) was an American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, and composer. Widely considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, Davis was at the forefront of almost every major development in jazz from World War II to the 1990s: he played on various early bebop records and recorded one of the first cool jazz records; he was partially responsible for the development of hard bop and modal jazz, and both jazz-funk and jazz fusion arose from his work with other musicians in the late 1960s and early 1970s; and his final album blended jazz and rap. Many leading jazz musicians made their names in Davis's groups, including: Joe Zawinul, Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock, saxophonists John Coltrane, Wayne Shorter, George Coleman, and Kenny Garrett, drummer Tony Williams and guitarist John McLaughlin.

As a trumpeter, Davis had a pure, round sound but also an unusual freedom of articulation and pitch. He was known for favoring a low register and for a minimalist less-is-more playing style, but Davis was also capable of highly complex and technically demanding trumpet work.

On March 13, 2006 Davis was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He has also been inducted into the St. Louis Walk of Fame, Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame, and Down Beat's Jazz Hall of Fame.

Kind of Blue is a studio album by American jazz musician Miles Davis, released August 17, 1959 on Columbia Records, in both mono and stereo. Recording sessions for the album took place at Columbia's 30th Street Studio in New York City on March 2 and April 22 of 1959. Following the inclusion of pianist Bill Evans into his sextet, Davis followed up on the modal experimentations of his Milestones album and the '58 Sessions. The album is based entirely on modality in contrast to his earlier work with the hard bop style of jazz and its complex chord progression and improvisation.

Though precise figures have been disputed, Kind of Blue has been cited by many music writers as Davis' best-selling album, as well as the best-selling jazz record of all time. On October 7, 2008, the album was certified quadruple platinum in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America.[5] It has also been regarded by many critics as the greatest jazz album of all time and ranks at or near the top of several "best album" lists in disparate genres. The album's influence on music, ranging from jazz to rock and classical music, has led critics to acknowledge it as one of the most influential albums of all time. In 2002, Kind of Blue was one of 50 recordings chosen that year by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry. In 2003, the album was ranked number 12 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.[13] On September 30, 2008, a box set edition of Kind of Blue was issued by Legacy Records in honor of the album's fiftieth anniversary.

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