Rare is it for anything to age well on its own merits. Bridges need teams of workers to climb over its girders to make sure none of its pieces are crumbling to dust. Buildings need a sandblast to clear decades of grime from their facades. Even our bodies need to, as my doctor said, “flatten the downhill slope.” So when something reaches 50 years old, that’s worth celebrating. And while Miles Davis’s seminal masterpiece “Kind of Blue” has reached that milestone, it is certainly not becoming a dowager.
It retains its vitality and verve even through all the tumult in the jazz world, not to mention the world at large. As Davis’s friend Quincy Jones said, “It’s a record that sounds like it was made yesterday.”
When someone asks for a good introduction to jazz, this is usually the gateway CD–not only because of its inspired improvisation (no notes for all the music, just a framework to play inside of), but also for the personnel, each legendary leaders or sidemen in their own right.