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Stanford celebrates ‘Kind of Blue’

kind_of_blue Up on The Farm (Stanford University) there’s a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of “Kind of Blue” beginning next week. Stanford is sponsoring a series of events, beginning at 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 23, when a discussion and demonstration with jazz drummer Jimmy Cobb and Jim Nadel, Stanford Jazz Workshop’s founder, artistic and executive director, will take place at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA), 660 Lomita Drive.

Cobb is the only surviving member of the legendary ensemble that played with Davis on the 1959 sessions. The free event is presented by Stanford Jazz Workshop, Stanford Lively Arts and CCRMA.

Click here for details.

A free lecture and film screening with Loren Schoenberg, director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, is scheduled for 8 p.m. April 16 in the Wallenberg Learning Theater. It will be followed on April 18 by a concert, “50 Years of Kind of Blue: A Live Jazz Laboratory,” at 8 p.m. in Kresge Auditorium.

Tickets for the concert are $34 for adults and $17 for Stanford students.

Additional information about both performances can be found on the Lively Arts website

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One thought on “Stanford celebrates ‘Kind of Blue’

  1. August 17, 2009 marks exactly fifty years from the day Columbia Records released the Miles Davis album, “Kind of Blue”. “So What?” one might ask. Well, there are many great albums from the Age of Vinyl, but “All Blues” are not the same. Some music has the horsepower to affect and alter it’s listeners, to move them mentally and emotionally, and to transform them.
    One afternoon on the sidelines of the soccer pitch, at least fifteen years ago, I was talking to the son of a friend of mine. Though this young fellow was in college at the time, I had known him since he was in grade school. Beside refereeing youth soccer games, he had been in a garage rock band since high school. “My Dad told me you listened to jazz a lot,” he says, “but I don’t know much about it. People say it’s pretty deep. What should I listen to so I can get into it?” “Get a copy of the CD “Kind of Blue” by Miles Davis,” I told him. “It’s easy to find. They probably have it at Wal-Mart. Drink two glasses of wine and sit in the dark with headphones on, at one o’clock in the morning. Listen to Miles talk on trumpet, Cannonball Adderley on alto sax, John Coltrane on tenor sax, and Bill Evans on piano. Do this three times. You will be turned on to the music.”
    I knew this because that’s how I got hooked on jazz. (Well…I didn’t have the wine.) The Columbia Record Club sent me a copy of the “Kind of Blue” album when I was thirteen years old. As I lay in bed listening to it in 1960, the music transported my mind from suburban New Jersey to a smokey jazz club in Greenwich Village, where I could hang out with Maynard G. Krebs, and talk to girls with blonde ponytails, wearing black turtleneck sweaters. From that point on, I began to construct an aura, a shell, of iconoclastic coolness, or so I imagined.
    Anyway, about six months after my conversation with this young guy, I ran into his father, Claude, who tells me a tale of woe about how their oldest son is driving both his wife and him nuts. (I knew this to be a very short ride.) “That crazy kid,” he told me, “changed his major at the University, from Business Administration to Music. He says he wants to become a jazz musician!” Shaking his head and rolling his eyes, Claude went on to ask, “Do they still have those?? I thought they were all dead by now!! Where does he get these crazy ideas???
    What could I say? I didn’t tell him. Two years later I heard Claude Jr. was playing bass on weekends in a piano trio, in a bar just off the expressway. It wasn’t me, or what I had said to him. It was Miles. Like the Pied Piper in the fairy tale, his recorded sound (particularly in his golden period from 1955 to 1965) kidnaps the listener’s ear. Looking back from a fifty year view, the “Kind of Blue” album remains a masterpiece of the twentieth century.

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