From the album, Kind of Blue.
Recorded in New York, 1959. Musicians would not have read from a score – would have known basic structure and order of solos.
Combination of soloists regarded as greatest collection of jazz musicians ever assembled.
Mainly melody with accompaniment (provided by rhythm section). Soloists never improvise at the same time. Sax riff adds another layer to texture when it is used.
Piece based around 12 bar Blues in G major. Modal jazz.
Jazz based harmony, extended chords (7ths/9ths). Blue notes
Main tune is called the head. Davis performs this on trumpet at the beginning and end of the piece. Four improvised solos. Trumpet (Davis), alto sax (Adderley) tenor sax (Coltrane) and piano (Evans). Head melody is based on motif of a major sixth leap. Ornamented with mordents. Adderley uses chromatic notes in his solo. Coltrane uses faster rapid phrases in his solo.
Trumpet (sometimes is played using a harmon mute), Alto Sax, Tenor Sax, Piano, Bass, Drums (played with brushes in places). Trumpet, Alto Sax, Tenor Sax = frontline. Piano, bass and drums = rhythm.
Crotchet = 156. Jazz waltz.
Tempo does not change.
Written in 6/4 to give jazz waltz feel.
Jazzy rhythms used, triplets, syncopations. Swung quavers
Intro, head 1, head 2, Trumpet solo, Alto sax solo, Tenor sax solo, piano solo, head 3, head 4, coda.
12 bar blues sequence is repeated 19 times
G7 G7 G7 G7
Gm Gm G7 G7
D7 Eb7 F G F G
Four bar riff links each section together.
No big dynamic contrasts, although excitement sometimes builds in solo sections through subtle dynamic increases. Starts quietly, fades out at the end.