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MUSIC ALBUM: Kind of Blue by Miles Davis, released 1959, picked by MP John Hayes

Few, if any, albums deserve the epithet ‘masterpiece’ more than Kind of Blue. Miles Davis’s work didn’t so much shape its genre as define it - after its release in 1959 jazz was altered forever. Since when over four million copies have been sold worldwide. Timeless, it still sells at least 5,000 copies a week.

The album’s excellence is personified by the remarkable array of musicians assembled to make it. The contribution of exceptional saxophonist John Coltrane - whose technical musicianship, arguably, exceeded that of Davis himself - would alone have been enough to elevate the enterprise beyond the ordinary. When combined with the skills of Bill Evans - who some say crafted much of the record’s content, ‘Cannonball’ Adderley, Wynton Kelly, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Jimmy Cobb the result is extraordinary. All went on to excel in their own right, but Coltrane subsequently produced some of jazz’s seminal works, notably Blue Train and A Love Supreme.


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