March 2, 1959: Miles Davis records "Kind of Blue" on Columbia Records.This is the one jazz record owned by people who don't listen to jazz, and with good reason. The band itself is extraordinary (proof of Miles Davis's masterful casting skills, if not of God's existence), listing John Coltrane and Julian Cannonball Adderley on saxophones, Bill Evans (or, on Freddie Freeloader, Wynton Kelly) on piano, and the crack rhythm unit of Paul Chambers on bass and Jimmy Cobb on drums. Coltrane's astringency on tenor is counterpoised to Adderley's funky self on alto, with Davis moderating between them as Bill Evans conjures up a still lake of sound on which they walk. Meanwhile, the rhythm partnership of Cobb and Chambers is prepared to click off time until eternity. It was the key recording of what became modal jazz, a music free of the fixed harmonies and forms of pop songs. In Davis's men's hands it was a weightless music, but one that refused to fade into the background. In retrospect every note seems perfect, and each piece moves inexorably towards its destiny. --John Szwed
On the March 2 session the following tracks were recorded: 'So What', 'Freddie Freeloader', and 'Blue In Green'. The remaining two tracks ('All Blues', 'Flamenco Sketches') were recorded on April 22.
More facts on this day:
Saxophonist Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis born in New York.
Guitarist Charlie Christian dies at 25.
Dave Brubeck records "Jazz at Oberlin" on Fantasy Records.
Miles Davis records "Kind of Blue" on Columbia Records.
Tina Brooks records "The Waiting Game" on Blue Note Records.
Saxophonist/composer/trumpeter Benny Carter records "Central City Sketches" with The American Jazz Orchestra.
World Saxophone Quartet records tribute to Miles Davis.