Friday, February 10, 2006
The Birth of the Cool
Allow me the opportunity to bypass the normal movie post for a Friday and share this clip of a legendary musical performance recorded live in 1958 of Miles Davis and the band he gathered for his album "Kind of Blue". The tune here is "So What".
This album, along with the one preceeding it, "The Birth of the Cool", are classics in jazz and rock, and "Kind of Blue" still sellls thousands of copies each month, more than 50 years after it's release. This video shows why - it is Cool incarnate.
Miles brought John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Cannonball Adderly, Paul Chambers and Bill Cobb together for sessions that still impress the most casual listener. They all stand and wait for each moment to step into the tune with their talents. No color picture could capture the Cool here. It needs black and white photography. And I love the way Miles hangs back smoking when he isn't wailing on that trumpet, stabbing notes into the song, and that shot at the end, when he finishes his last notes and then casually walks off smoking again.
No wonder that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will be inducting Miles this March - Cool starts with Miles and spreads across the rest of the music industry throughout the 20th century.
If you've never dipped into the music before, you're in for an amazing journey. If you have, you'll enjoy the video above.