science bastards

3 December, 2011

Kind of Blue, Vol.8, Final Verdict

Filed under: Authoritative Music Reviews, Miles Davis — sciencebastards @ 9:29 pm

Upon first listen, Kind of Blue really made me think it was going to be a super straight jazz record.  I was quietly dreading that possibility because I really do love Miles Davis.  I think part of me didn’t want any of him tainted by something I’d find boring.  I think that a lot the “cool jazz” that has been made since this time really tries to ape this album and this sound but really doesn’t have too much else going for it.  I think for when it came out it is a revelation for sure, I just also think it spurred some really bad stereotypes as far as what jazz should be.  I tried to find some good examples of really pedantic jazz that was just posing but I was at a loss as to how to search for something like that.  It’s better anyway, it’s never a good idea to talk poorly of other people, even if it’s on a blog that will never be read after next week.  It’s just an example of how deep the impact of Kind of Blue actually was.  It was a complete game changer of a record and, unfortunately, it garnered many hangers on.  It’s sort of like all the terrible bands that suddenly counted themselves as grunge once Nirvana blew up.  Not that I really thought Nirvana were the be all and end all of that era, but it shows that when someone really makes an impression, less talented people will try to ride those coattails as long as they can, even if it ruins everything.  In the case of Kind of Blue, it seems as if the album itself set the seeds of jazz’s eventual implosion.  As Slate notes, it opened jazz up to immense complexity and this complexity is what transformed the genre from what was popular music into something best appreciated by specialists.  I personally like some of the jazz that came after this better than any other, but there was a lot of junk too.  Fusion, which Miles would also have a huge hand in, was such a double-edged sword it’s silly.  There are a few nuggets of greatness but a whole lot of turds that spoil everything.  This loops back to the album at hand as well, it seemingly was just swamped by all the garbage that may have followed to the point where I wrote the album off without good information to start with.  I have now repented.

Final verdict: 4.5 of 5

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1 Comment »

  1. I agree with the nuggets and turd statement — though is that supposed to be in a college assignment.

    Your assessment (and fear) of the album is right on.

    I enjoy your writing– you’re insightful and intelligent which is a plus…

    I am glad you repented… you are forgiven.

    OH! The Insider was a solid response, good job!

    Comment by controversialmediamoments — 10 December, 2011 @ 4:28 pm


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