12/17/09

Congress Honors Kind of Blue

Miles Davis’ monumental album Kind of Blue was honored by Congress this week as a landmark contribution to the genre, the Associated Press reports. The album, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, was recognized by a resolution which was passed by a unanimous vote Tuesday.

The bill, H. Con. Res. 894, was sponsored by Rep. John Conyers (D-Michigan) and was brought about to honor “the 50th anniversary of the recording of Miles Davis’ album Kind of Blue and reaffirming jazz as a national treasure.”

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Don Hunstein

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

The group “made musical history and changed the artistic landscape of this country and in some ways the world,” Conyers said.

The Congressman was also the author and sponsor of a bill passed in 1987 designating jazz as a rare and valuable national American treasure.

Davis was joined on the now infamous record by John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley, both on saxophone, Bill Evans and Wynton Kelly on piano, Paul Chambers on bass and drummer Jimmy Cobb.

Kind of Blue was released Aug. 17, 1959 on Columbia Records, and is considered by many critics to be a masterpiece. It is one of the bestselling jazz records of all time, certified quadruple platinum in 2008.

The album is considered to be widely influential, imposing a huge impact not only on the jazz community, but extending into other genres such as rock, funk and hip-hop.

Davis died of a stroke in 1991. Cobb is the only musician from the Kind of Blue album still alive today.

The album’s half-century anniversary has been celebrated extensively: at the Barcelona Jazz Festival with special bands and programming, with products like commemorative earbuds, and with a deluxe box set reissue released in fall 2008.

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