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The Blue Moment: Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue and the Remaking of Modern Music by Richard Williams

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In Richard Williams’ The Blue Moment: Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue and the Remaking of Modern Music, Williams accomplishes two very difficulty things. First, he proves that despite books and other writings about the Miles Davis classic, there is still so much more to say about that album. Second, Williams, unlike many, has produced a book that is jazz in a certain sense. His writing rambles like Jelly Roll Morton on keyboard, and he is often long winded like John Coltrane, which proves to be mostly good (who wants to read another blow by blow account of “Kind of Blue?”). Is he in the middle register like Miles holding the project together? Most of the time. But usually, Williams knows what he wants to say and not say, and he says it well from the beginning:

The album’s story has been told before,” he writes. “This book’s intentions are quite different.” Williams admits he is concerned with “what happened next,” he wants to “follow trails in order to find connections, identify direct influences…”

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