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`Kind of Blue' at 50: Behind Davis' masterpiece
AP via NY Times ^ | Oct 6, 2009 | CHARLES J.GANS

Posted on 10/07/2009 11:00:15 AM PDT by a fool in paradise

Jimmy Cobb could hardly imagine he would be making history when he arrived at Columbia Records' 30th Street Studio 50 years ago for the first of two recording sessions with Miles Davis.

"I was always enthusiastic about making records with Miles," said Cobb, who got to the studio before the other musicians to set up his drum kit. "I wasn't told anything about what the music was going to be."

Cobb ended up being part of the all-star sextet, plus one, that recorded "Kind of Blue," an album Quincy Jones (and many others) consider to be "one of the greatest records ever made."

Since its August 1959 release, "Kind of Blue" has ranked as one of the most influential and popular jazz albums ever with more than 4 million copies sold in the U.S. alone...

But in 1959, Cobb — the last surviving musician in a group that included saxophonists John Coltrane and Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, pianists Bill Evans and Wynton Kelly, and bassist Paul Chambers — regarded it "as just another Miles Davis record date."

"It was relaxed and the guys always had fun around each other," said Cobb. "It had to be the talent, the music, the studio ... I don't know how that magic happens but it happened those two days."

...Today, the five tunes on "Kind of Blue" — particularly "So What" and "All Blues" — have become deeply embedded in the musical landscape. But at the March 2 and April 22, 1959, recording sessions, nearly all the tunes were new to the band members, who didn't even have a chance to rehearse them. Davis gave the musicians written sketches of the scales and melodies, offering brief verbal instructions about the feeling he wanted on a particular tune...

(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...


TOPICS: History; Music/Entertainment
KEYWORDS: jazz; milesdavis; milestone; music
I think one of the big take away things from this is that they got it done in two days. Now companies take that long to work out an overdub on a single track.

Of course, the labels bill their performers for the studio costs and sometimes seek to keep them in debt to the production costs for years.

1 posted on 10/07/2009 11:00:15 AM PDT by a fool in paradise
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To: a fool in paradise

One of my all-time favorites!


2 posted on 10/07/2009 11:02:32 AM PDT by NRA1995 (Obama, when you lie, we're going to call you out)
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To: a fool in paradise

I like Bill Evans.


3 posted on 10/07/2009 11:13:14 AM PDT by Huck ("He that lives on hope will die fasting"- Ben Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanac)
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To: a fool in paradise
So What
4 posted on 10/07/2009 11:13:28 AM PDT by Disambiguator
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To: a fool in paradise

One of my “desert-island” albums. It never gets old. BTT.


5 posted on 10/07/2009 11:17:50 AM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: Huck

I like Gil Evans with Miles Davis.


6 posted on 10/07/2009 11:19:49 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (There is no truth in the Pravda Media.)
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To: a fool in paradise
I saw Jimmy Cobb with Nat Adderley in Atlanta, around 1983 or '84.

Saw Miles in Jacksonville in '86.

7 posted on 10/07/2009 11:20:52 AM PDT by real saxophonist (The fact that you play tuba doesn't make you any less lethal. -USMC bandsman in Iraq)
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To: a fool in paradise

KOB is arguably the greatest achievement in American arts of the 20th century.


8 posted on 10/07/2009 11:28:23 AM PDT by TheEditor
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To: real saxophonist
Just another reason why it's cool to be 'retro'.
The musical sludge that comes out of most studios these days leaves me... kinda blue.
9 posted on 10/07/2009 11:29:28 AM PDT by ARepublicanForAllReasons (Give 'em hell, Sarah!)
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To: a fool in paradise

Maybe the best album ever recorded, in 2 days no less, Genius, Miles, Coltrane, Cannonball, Philly Joe Jones, Cobb Winton Kelley....WOW

I still listen at elast once a week.


10 posted on 10/07/2009 11:32:22 AM PDT by Leto
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To: Leto
I like Jack Kerouac's album with Steve Allen.

Steve was great at improvising songs (he could compose a song from any 3 keys).

So he went into the studio with Jack to provide musical accompaniment on piano to his readings.

They went along for about 45 minutes with the tape rolling. The engineer then asked when they wanted to do a second take and they said that they were done.

11 posted on 10/07/2009 11:36:10 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (There is no truth in the Pravda Media.)
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To: a fool in paradise

I have heard from jazz critics that Fats Waller and his combo once went to the recording studio and reeled off 12 numbers without a single retake. C:<()


12 posted on 10/07/2009 11:50:26 AM PDT by ARepublicanForAllReasons (Give 'em hell, Sarah!)
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To: a fool in paradise

I like this from Jack White: “Think of all the great records. Every time there’s a list of the hundred greatest records of all time, all those albums were recorded in two days. Hardly any of them took a year, I’ll tell you.”

He may be overstating a slight bit, although I would say most classics are in a few months at the most. Jack’s most famous album was finished in 10 days. In the same interview quoted above he talks about how having a lot of time in the studio to tinker can take away what made a song great in the first place. That when you go back and hear the demos of the song they sound better than what goes on the album.

He also said every recording studio in the world should have a sign saying Sgt. Peppers was recorded on 4 track. I tend to agree with that.


13 posted on 10/07/2009 11:56:30 AM PDT by Mr. Blonde (You ever thought about being weird for a living?)
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To: Mr. Blonde

The Beatles spent weeks (6 weeks?) working on the Mono mix of Sgt. Pepper’s.

But the version the public is most familiar with is the Stereo mix (which the Beatles did not work on) and was completed in something like 2 weeks.


14 posted on 10/07/2009 11:58:24 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (There is no truth in the Pravda Media.)
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To: a fool in paradise

Yeah. I guess you can now hear the mono mix with the new reissues out. Might be worth a listen. All of the stereo remasters sound outstanding.


15 posted on 10/07/2009 12:21:47 PM PDT by Mr. Blonde (You ever thought about being weird for a living?)
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To: Clemenza

Dunno if this is your bag, but pinging you anyway.


16 posted on 10/07/2009 12:42:32 PM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (~"This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps !"~~)
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To: fieldmarshaldj

Have the entire CD on my Ipod. My fave Davis work, along with “Jack Johnson.” Bitches Brew and Dark Magus are close seconds, with the latter being proto-metal, although a little self-indulgent.


17 posted on 10/07/2009 12:44:55 PM PDT by Clemenza (Remember our Korean War Veterans)
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To: a fool in paradise

Ditto, one of the best albums of all time, jazz or otherwise.

There is still great music being made with minimal studio tinkering. Just not pop music.


18 posted on 10/07/2009 2:31:38 PM PDT by brewer1516
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To: Blue Highway

ping


19 posted on 10/07/2009 6:09:49 PM PDT by perfect stranger (Nobama)
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To: Huck

Everybody Digs Bill Evans..... ;)


20 posted on 10/07/2009 9:03:52 PM PDT by pepperhead (Kennedys float, Mary Jos don't)
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To: Clemenza

I like those albums a lot too. I think I like Agharta and Pangaea a bit more than Dark Magus though. Another favorite album I have of his is Filles de Kilimanjaro. Porgy and Bess is also another another one I like.


21 posted on 10/07/2009 9:21:14 PM PDT by pepperhead (Kennedys float, Mary Jos don't)
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