There’s not much to say about Miles Davis’ landmark 1959 album Kind of Blue that hasn’t already been said. Davis’ sixth album with Columbia records would be a historic, genre-defining and transcendent moment for jazz. One of the first mainstream records to employ modal scales, Davis changed the language of jazz, influencing future artists from rock, to classical, and even hip-hop in the process. Kind of Blue is almost universally thought of as not only one of jazz’s greatest albums, but one of the best albums ever recorded.
Recordings for Kind of Blue played out over two sessions in the spring of 1959 (despite rumors claiming the album was recorded in one take). Pianist Bill Evans, drummer Jimmy Cobb, bassist Paul Chambers, and saxophonists John Coltrane and Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, together with pianist Wynton Kelly on one track. Friday, October 6, the Ziad Jazz Quartet will bring this monumental album to life on the Jazz at the Bechtler stage.
To help recreate the timeless magic of this album, several local musicians will lend their talents. Trumpeter Lynn Grissett, who played with Prince as part of the "New Power Generation", will take center stage as he fills the considerable shoes of Miles Davis himself. Saxophonist Adrian Crutchfield’s high-energy delivery has made him one of the most in-demand touring musicians around, having played shows with Prince, Lionel Ritchie and Cee-Lo Green. Drummer Kobie Watkins has been called “The Swing Master” in his hometown of Chicago, where he developed a ferocious style of playing, always with a magnetic smile. Kobie has played toured and recorded with Sonny Rollins, Kurt Elling, Branford Marsalis and Christian McBride just to name a few.