Yesterday 8/17 was the 50th anniversary of the release of Miles Davis’ breakout LP “Kind of Blue”. I never heard this album until just a few years ago (thanks Harold) and I liked it quite a bit. However, on this anniversary Fred Kaplan wrote on Slate.com about why this album was so great and (dare I say it) game changing. He discusses the context of the late 50’s jazz scene, and he also describes the breakthrough that was invented here. Jazz at the time was improvisation built around sets of chord progressions. Lots of room for creative improvisation, but it was reaching a dead end. Davis and his cohorts came up with the modal approach, which opened up an entire new landscape of creative and collaborative improvisation. I totally get it. Listen to the most well known 1st cut from the album, and its quite clear. Here’s a youtube version of it.