When people ask me to name my favorite albums, I intentionally disregard Kind of Blue. It has nothing to do with the music, itself. In fact, this 1959 release from jazz icon, Miles Davis is one of the few albums I would consider “flawless.” But, at this point, referencing Kind of Blue is simply cliché. It’s like saying that your favorite basketball player is Michael Jordan. Even people who don’t listen to jazz have been known to spontaneously burst into flames while discussing the genius encapsulated in this fifty-five minute display excellence. Kind of Blue has transcended sound and taken on a much greater role outside of itself, relative to Bob Marley’s elevation from reggae frontman to a figure adorning seemingly every college dormitory in America. There is jazz, jazz artists, jazz albums, and then there is Kind of Blue.
Kind of Blue contains a level of influence that has touched practically every arena of music. It has reshaped chord structures and improvisational techniques. It has influenced musical composition and arrangement. Above all, it has shifted our entire understanding of what it means for an album to be considered a “classic.” Universally accepted, this is the closest we have come to genuine perfection in musical form. Fifty-two years ago today, music was revolutionized. While this may seem like it has formally been inducted into musical antiquity, it’s sounds manage to resonate in the present.
However, if you still don’t understand the relevancy of Kind of Blue today, allow me to introduce you to the sounds of Nesby Phips and Ski Beatz.
I was introduced to the song awhile back and it has stuck with me ever since. Legendary producer Ski Beatz keeps much of the song’s original feel intact, while Phips glides along the beat with an effortless delivery. It’s a tribute pulled directly from the forward-thinking soul of Davis. If you haven’t already, take a moment today and appreciate music’s past and present, Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue.
“I dive into the sky and be suspended in time/I’m alive long as I live in your mind…” – Nesby Phips
Written by: Paul Pennington