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Editor’s Pick #60: Jazzy Anniversaries by Tim Martinez
February 17, 2009, 2:56 am
Filed under: Editor Picks | Tags: , , ,

 

Kind of Blue

Kind of Blue

In honor of Black History Month, I thought it would be pertinent to take a look at the purest and most demonstrative form of music which flows straight from the soul to the fingertips: jazz.

Jazz remains more than the Kenny G smooth jazz that’s become equated with the genre. Current artists such as Aaron Parks are keeping the tradition of expression and improvisation alive in new albums like Invisible Cinema.

But to underline the importance of jazz, next month we honor the 50th anniversary of two of the greatest jazz albums of all time: Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue and John Coltrane’s Giant Steps.

In Kind of Blue, one of the best selling jazz albums ever, Miles Davis establishes a somber ambiance that leaves you feeling a whimsical optimism by the closing notes. Bill Evans’ piano accompanies Davis’ trumpet in the final track, “Flamenco Sketches,” allowing you to fade away into a floating stream of consciousness, leaving no doubt that something special just happened.

Around the same time in 1959, John Coltrane took a different direction with an upbeat tempo of improvisation in Giant Steps. As the premiere saxophonist and the master of chord progression, Coltrane does a brilliant job saying farewell to bebop before taking on a new task in his later records.

If you have never heard these two albums, I recommend you pick them up at the local record shop because these albums remain important pieces of American music.

-Tim Martinez, copy editor

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2 Comments

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Comment by jpoinier

[…] Pick #60: Jazzy Anniversaries « 20 Watts Fletch wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptBill Evans’ piano accompanies […]

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