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December 2008

Miles Davis
Kind of Blue: 50th Anniversary Collector's Edition
Sony/Legacy

It’s back! Actually, Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue has never gone away, yet it is regularly reissued, this time as Kind of Blue: 50th Anniversary Collector’s Edition (Sony/Legacy). Should collectors purchase Kind of Blue for the fifth time? This new version includes the original five songs pitch-corrected, the alternate of “Flamenco Sketches,” every scrap that remains from the date, five related performances from the same group (Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, Bill Evans or Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers and Jimmy Cobb) at an earlier session, and a version of “So What” from 1960 with Davis and Coltrane. In addition to the two CDs of music, there is a 55-minute documentary on a DVD that is an expansion of the 2004 documentary Made in Heaven, plus Davis’ classic half-hour 1959 television appearance with his quintet (“So What”) and Gil Evans. Add to that the LP version of Kind of Blue, a 60-page book and a poster, and it is your call whether this is a “tribute to a masterpiece” or a bit of overkill.

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Don Hunstein

Kind of Blue recording session (L to R): John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, Miles Davis and Bill Evans

Originally published in December 2008
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