What is this strange blue glow—as mysterious as Mona Lisa’s smile? Miles said that he had wanted to draw closer to African and Gospel music as well as the blues, but admitted that he had failed in this intention. Nonetheless, he created his most indisputable masterpiece, containing two of the most popular standards of modern jazz, “So What” and “All Blues.” On “Flamenco Sketches,” Miles struck out to explore the harmonic realms of modal music, which he would radicalize ten years later. He also borrowed from Bill Evans, the principal creator of this album, the kind of blue that is reflected in “Blue In Green.” For the last time, Miles called back the pianist who had just left his quintet, and it was Evans’ harmonic conceptions, inspired by early 20th century European music, that dominated Kind Of Blue. Wynton Kelly, the group’s new pianist, only appeared once, on “Freddie Freeloader,” and was stung sharply by this affront: the ultimate touch of bright red to heighten the depth of the blue.

Original issue: Columbia LP CS 8163 on August 17, 1959
Producer: Irving Townsend
Engineer: Fred Plaut
March 2, 1959 (a)
Miles Davis (tpt); Cannonball Adderley (as – on all tracks except 3); John Coltrane (ts); Bill Evans (p); Wynton Kelly (p – on track 2 only); Paul Chambers (b); Jimmy Cobb (d)
April 22, 1959 (b)
Miles Davis (tpt); Cannonball Adderley (as); John Coltrane (ts); Bill Evans (p); Paul Chambers (b); Jimmy Cobb (d)
All tracks recorded at Columbia 30th Street Studio, NYC

  1. So What [a]
  2. Freddie Freeloader [a]
  3. Blue In Green [a]
  4. All Blues [b]
  5. Flamenco Sketches [b]
  6. Flamenco Sketches* (Alternate Take) [b]


* Not on original LP