In this initial post in my jazz series, which I hope will serve as a primer for people who Google “what jazz records should I buy,” I’m tackling the big one. Why? Because if you own no jazz records going in, this is absolutely the first one you should get.
Kind of Blue is not just the best-selling jazz record of all time, it’s not just the most famous jazz record of all time, it’s possibly the most influential jazz record of all time. It represents a shift from the be-bop of Charlie Parker and Dizzie Gillespie to a more accessible form of jazz: cool modal jazz.
“So What” and “All Blues” might be the two most famous tracks from Kind of Blue, but the track I come back to the most is “Freddie Freeloader.” But there are no bad tracks on this album. Even the ones I’ve heard a thousand times provide something new and interesting on each listen.
If you’re serious about building a jazz collection, this is where you should start. Where to go to next? I hope to provide that answer in upcoming posts.