In my opinion, there's no question that Miles Davis' Kind of Blue is the most influential jazz recording in history. And the fact that it was recorded in just two days is beyond impressive. The first time I heard the album at 12-years-old, it totally shifted my interest in music. I fell asleep to it almost every night as a kid and have sensory relations to the album even as I type right now.
To date, I've got at least three copies on CD (including the one I purchased in Toronto at 12), two digital copies, and original vinyl. I've been listening to Columbia's 50th Anniversary Collector's Edition at the office for the past few hours and I recommend anyone else who owns any version of Kind of Blue to put it on this evening. Sure, the 50th anniversary of its release on August 17, 1959 shouldn't be the only reason that people play the compositions on that classic album, but if you ever needed a prodding to play some Miles during dinner, or while surfing the web or doing laundry, let this be it. For a good read on the impact of Kind of Blue, check out jazz writer W. Kim Heron's piece from earlier today over at the Detroit Metro Times. Frank Kaplan also goes long on the subject at Slate. And after the jump, there's a great video describing the making of Kind of Blue featuring Jimmy Cobb, the lone member left of that classic Miles Davis Quartet.