Monday, June 4, 2012

Kind of Blue: Part 3

This is the final post in the three part-series on Kind of Blue. Wrapping up, I wanted to provide information about Miles himself. While Gil Evans and the unrelated pianist, Bill Evans, made significant contributions to the album, it is Miles' baby. For the truly diligent I suggest reading his Miles autobiography.

If your interest does not extend to digging into Miles at that level, this video may be a better choice:

Miles Davis Cool Jazz Sound

Since this blog is all about Music for Drummers, it is appropriate to shine a bright light on Jimmy Cobb. I think that had Miles' first and second choices - Philly Joe or Art Taylor - been in the drum chair the album would have been less magical. Both Jones and Taylor were highly regarded and influential drummers. In fact, they were probably the best drummers during that era. Both were also highly prolific. If you pick up jazz albums from the 50s and 60s and read the credits, chances are either Philly Joe or Art Taylor was the drummer.

The one thing that Cobb brought to the session that set him apart was his amazing cymbal work. In my opinion he had a touch that neither Philly Joe or Art had on cymbals. Moreover, I think Cobb's drumming was a perfect complement to Evans' piano. While Taylor could have connected to Evans at a very subtle level, I an not convinced that Philly Joe would have. Again, that is just my opinion and I could be completely wrong.

A great deal about Jimmy is revealed in this interview conducted by Marc Myers on JazzWax. If you've never been to Marc's site I recommend a visit (and bookmark it too!) The remaining parts of the interview are: Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.

In my next post I'll discuss the second best selling album from 1959, the Dave Brubeck Quartet's Time Out.

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