My personal style of Netflix binging is working my way through its catalog of music documentaries. Recently I watched 2019’s “Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool”. It’s an interesting trip through the entire arc of his career, and I highly recommend it.
I’m among those who consider Davis’ 1959 Kind of Blue one of the greatest albums ever (Rolling Stone slots it in at #12, two ticks above Abbey Road). Its consistent sales over many decades have also made it the best selling jazz album of all time. In addition to being a defining work for Miles, the group that recorded it included sax players John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley, pianists Bill Evans and Wynton Kelly, drummer Jimmy Cobb, and bassist Paul Chambers. Davis and Coltrane were the gray hair in the group at age 33.
Here’s the second track from Kind of Blue, and please listen to the rest of the album when you have some time.
A few weeks after the sessions for Kind of Blue ended in April 1959, John Coltrane began to record his masterpiece Giant Steps, drawing on Cobb, Chambers and Kelly to help out. While most of the album features the up tempo compositions Coltrane became known for, “Naima” was a dreamy departure that became a jazz standard.
Just after Cannonball Adderley walked out of the Kind of Blue sessions, he began recording Them Dirty Blues, which featured “Jeannine”.