Most people that like jazz know the great Miles Davis. I used to assume that everybody, not just jazz lovers knew or at least had heard about Miles, but I was wrong. When I discovered that almost nobody in college had even heard about Miles Davis I was very disappointed in our society and education. But then I figured it's their loss, really.
So, on with the show. Perhaps the best known jazz album of all time is Davis's album Kind of Blue. It's widely considered one of best best jazz albums ever made and quite frankly, who am I to disagree? It's a real masterpiece and you don't even have to know much about jazz to realise that.
Miles Davis was the coolest man on earth during the first decades of his career (his later work had a sort of 'anything goes' attitude). He never said much, to be precise he rarely spoke more than a couple of words. Why? He let the music speak for him. I once heard a story of a man who ran a jazz club. It was a calm night when all of a sudden Miles Davis entered that club. The owner of the place was thrilled but also knocked down by Miles's extraordinary charisma. Miles asked if he could jam a little with his band on the stage, which of course was more than okay. After a while Miles asked if the club owner was a musician too. The man said yes and was invited up the stage. They played for about 20 minutes and when they were done, Miles said, "Cool." Nothing more. It meant that he could play in Miles's band if he wanted to. He did want to, but he couldn't because his wife just had a baby and well of course he couldn't leave his child behind to go play with Miles.
I'm sure he regretted that decision for the rest of his life, but what's done is done.
Here is a very smooth piece of jazz from the album Kind of Blue. (Really, check it out if you haven't already.) Oh and don't forget the Rainy Mood (top right of the page)!