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Kind of Blue | All-TIME 100 Albums | TIME.com

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Music

All-TIME 100 Albums

The album may be dead, but it's certainly not forgotten. TIME's critics have chosen the 100 greatest and most influential musical compilations since 1954.

1950s

Kind of Blue

By Alan Light Jan. 27, 2010

In 1959, Miles Davis had already remade jazz in his own image several times over. The Birth of Cool introduced a smooth, sophisticated approach, and then Walkin’ heated things up again. His classic ’50s quintet raised the bar for small-group improvisation. But when he assembled an unprecedented all-star team (featuring John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley on tenor and alto saxophones, and the masterful pianist Bill Evans) for the two-day sessions that became the Kind of Blue album, Miles left his most lasting mark. The open-ended songs, barely sketched out around “modes,” or scales, rather than chord changes, were given just one or two takes — and the glorious results, the best-selling jazz disc of all time, are simultaneously delicate and powerful, and teeming with life.

Next Here’s Little Richard

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