By Joel Francis
Fifty years ago, Miles Davis walked in to the recording studio, handed everyone in his band slips of paper with outlines of melody and a couple scales and told them to start playing. What emerged from those two sessions is arguable the greatest and greatest-selling jazz album of all time.
“Kind of Blue” contains several numbers that have become standards, like “So What” and “Freddie Freeloader” and features the classic lineup of John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers, Jimmy Cobb an and Bill Evans.
As the only remaining member of that ensemble, drummer Jimmy Cobb has been touring the world this year celebrating “Kind of Blue” and the music of Miles, Trane and Adderley from that period with his So What band.
Although the official Jammin’ at the Gem concert lineup has yet to be announced, both Pollstar and the International Music Network are showing that Cobb will perform at the Gem Theater in the heart of Kansas City Mo.’s historic jazz district on Saturday, Oct. 17.
This is one of two U.S. dates Cobb has scheduled for the remainder of the year. The 80-year-old Cobb was recently named and NEA Jazz Master. His other works with Miles include “Sketches of Spain,” “Porgy and Bess” and “Someday My Prince Will Come.”
The members of Cobb’s So What band are as follows: Vincent Herring , alto saxophone, Javon Jackson tenor saxophone, Wallace Roney, trumpet, Buster Williams, bass, and Larry Willis, piano.
Ticket information is unavailable at this time.
4 thoughts on ““Kind of Blue” coming to KC”
The Detroit Free Press has a HUGE goldmine of content for Motown’s 50th birthday…enjoy
Thanks for the heads up, Scott. I’m already looking forward to digging in.
Jazziz printed an article [recently] that discusses “Kind of Blue” and how although it has been given status as the greatest jazz recording of all time, there are many jazz enthusiasts who vehemently disagree.
It also goes into detail on how the legend that Miles Davis gave the other musicians their charts just moments before the session is false – it was merely a marketing ploy by Columbia Records’ marketing department to create a buzz about the recording and generate sales.
Regardless of the validity of this assertion, it’s certainly true that “Kind of Blue” has sold well and held significant influence over subsequent recordings in jazz and beyond.
There are some frustrating elements to the recording, in my opinion. The sound is a bit uneven in some parts, causing listeners to periodically shift the volume up and down to hear certain parts, particularly bass lines.
I still remember “Kind of Blue” as the second jazz recording I ever purchased – second to Wes Montgomery’s “Smokin’ at the Half Note” with the Wynton Kelly Trio. Both records stimulated my interest in jazz [while in high school] and I hold both responsible for my continued interest today.
Cobb has put together a stellar lineup here, and I’m sure the show will resonate well with jazz enthusiasts and novices alike.
Thanks for reading. I’ll confess that although I’m a huge fan of “Kind of Blue,” I haven’t read any of the articles about its recording beyond the CD liner notes and the section in Miles’ autobiography. Are there any places you would recommend I start?
It sounds like you have seen Cobb’s tour. I was hoping to catch his stop at the Jacksonville (Fla.) Jazz Festival last month, but was unable to work it into a full schedule of wedding obligations. I am looking forward to seeing him this fall at the Gem.
Thanks again for reading,