In the trending post, Miles Davis on Rainy Days, I promoted Kind of Blue. In this post, I will focus on the history of the Kind of Blue album.
Kind of Blue was released on August 17, 1959. The album featured Miles Davis's chosen sextet - Bill Evans (on piano), Jimmy Cobb (on drums), Paul Chambers (on bass), John Coltrane (on tenor sax), Julian "Cannonball" Adderley (on alto sax), and of course Miles. Wynton Kelly briefly replaced Bill Evans when Evans left the sextet. Kelly played only one song for the album - a blues style in the name of "Freddie Freeloader." Bill Evans returned to the sextet as well as the production of Kind of Blue.
The production of Kind of Blue was rather unique. Miles Davis provided only sketch frameworks for the members to work with and improvise. This allowed for a fresh approach to each track.
A healthy amount of success and recognition followed the release of the Kind of Blue album -
In 1977, Kind of Blue landed #37 status on the U.S. Billboard Music Charts under the category Jazz Albums.
In 1987, Kind of Blue landed #10 status on the U.S. Billboard Music Charts under the category Top Jazz Albums.
In 2001, Kind of Blue landed #14 status on the U.S. Billboard Music Charts under the category Top Internet Albums.
In 2002, Kind of Blue was one of 50 albums chosen by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry.
In 2003, Kind of Blue landed #12 status on the Rolling Stone list of 500 greatest albums of all time.
In 2009, the United States House of Representatives passed a resolution to honor the album and "reaffirm jazz as a national treasure."
Kind of Blue is the best-selling jazz album of all time -
United States - 4 million copies & Quadruple Platinum certification
Australia - 70,000 copies & Platinum certification
Belgium - 25,000 copies & Gold certification
Italy - 100,000 copies & Platinum certification
United Kingdom - 300,000 copies & Platinum certification
I imagine the greatest honor for Kind of Blue is its enormous influence on musicians not only in jazz, but in rock and classical genres as well.
My musical interests encompass several genres, but jazz is a core. For some time, I was intrigued by swing jazz. I will always love smooth jazz. However, classic jazz is my preferred selection. Miles Davis defines classic jazz.