0 Plays

John Coltrane - “Part 1. Acknowledgement”
from A Love Supreme

I don’t particularly care for Trane, but I am led to understand that some people do, hence today’s selection.

My opinion on Trane isn’t guided by a desire to be countercultural or anything. I dislike him for much the same reasons I don’t care for Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor, or even sometimes Art Tatum — the goal of the music obscures the music itself. In Tatum’s case, technical skill does the same thing, as with Coltrane. I once read an opinion (a rare critical one that I can no longer find a link to despite having an exact quote at hand) that Coltrane’s compositions aren’t as much “compositions” as they are a structure to support improvisation and sheets of sound. Which is fine, and certainly influential. It’s just not much my taste.

The more maddening thing is that I know I am capable of enjoying Trane in the right setting. Take Kind of Blue, for example. His blustery style fits right in with “Freddie Freeloader,” and as much as I tend to rag on him, one of my favorite parts of the whole album is in this tune, at the transition between Miles’s solo and his. In both “Blue in Green” and “Flamenco Sketches,” he displays such an unbelievably delicate touch that you might think it was a different musician altogether. But that’s another album.

Anyway. A Love Supreme. I plugged Ashley Khan’s Kind of Blue book when I wrote about “So What,” so perhaps you would like to know he has written one about A Love Supreme as well.

40 Plays

Miles Davis - “So What”
from Kind of Blue

If you thought you were going to escape April without seeing this album, which was partially recorded in April 1959 for you trivia buffs out there (not this track, though), then you are mad and you need to leave.

There’s really nothing I can say about this that hasn’t already been said, by me and by countless other people. I will use this opportunity to recommend a book which, if you consider yourself a fan of this album or its musicians at all, you need to read immediately: Kind of Blue: The Making of the Miles Davis Masterpiece by Ashley Kahn. My copy is only a few years old and is awfully well-worn due to its readability and unmatched usefulness. Pick it up, read it, love it.

Preferably while listening to the album, with this most perfect opener.

"All Blues" is a 6/8 12-measure blues form that produces its mood through only a few modal changes and Miles Davis’ free melodic conception.

—Bill Evans, Kind of Blue liner notes

The album was released on this day in 1959. It is still awesome.


bill’s block chords and paul’s fat bassline before the outro are delicious

(Source: raw-hands)

70 Plays

Miles Davis - “Blue in Green”
from Kind of Blue

Jimmy Cobb, the last surviving member of the Kind of Blue sextet-plus-one, is 82 years young today, and still touring. Amazing.

30 Plays

Flamenco Sketches - Studio Sequence 1

[squeak squeak]
Damn thing, right?
Hey, Cannon —
Take two.
Wait a minute, Irving. Wait.
Miles (to Cannonball):
Hey, when you raise up off that stool, man, you get — oh, yeah.
Cannonball: [laughs]
Miles (to Townsend):
You know, your floor squeaks, you know. You know what I mean? Can you hear me?
Let’s go.
That’s surface noise, you know.
Surf-ass noise.
That’s all part of the tune, man.
[giggling] “Surf-ass noise!”
Here we go. Take two.