Feeling 'Kinda Blue'

  • Feeling 'Kinda Blue'
    POSTED Sep 09 2013


    via USA Today



    When I was 9 years old, growing up in Denver in the 1960s, I’d spend hours listening to my friend’s mother’s record collection.

    While everyone was outside playing - including my friend, Phyllis Love - I’d be inside Phyllis’s house, alone, listening to music. Her mother knew I was a different kind of kid and that I wouldn’t mess up her vinyl. My favourite song was “Blue In Green” from Miles Davis’s 1959 album “Kind Of Blue”

    “Blue In Green” [by Miles Davis & Bill Evans] is a slow ballad and was warm and comforting to me. It was like having a really cool babysitter. To my young ears, the music sounded sophisticated and unpredictable. But in a scary way, I understood exactly what was going on. I could feel that the musicians were saying something important - even before I knew they were jazz giants. I could feel the difference. Miles was on the outside, remote, not inside trying to trick the band into playing junk.

    I loved the title of “Blue In Green” - as if the colour blue was seeping into green, slowly changing it and creating a new colour. The song opens with pianist Bill Evans playing these beautiful, delicate chords before Davis comes in with his piercing, muted trumpet. To me, Evans’s piano is the green - evoking innocence with splashes of beautiful colour, like someone who’s chaste and a little uncertain. Then he narrows down the colour, as if dimming the lights.

    Davis and saxophonist John Coltrane evoke the blue - a more melancholy and experienced sound. They stay so connected - even with their different approaches. Each musician solos but picks up on each other’s statements and develops them.

    When I listen to “Blue In Green” today on my headset, I still feel the same way I once did. Jazz has always been my first love. It has this timeless effect on me. It’s pretty odd that I didn’t become a jazz musician. I went another way because I needed to earn a good living to support my large family. But even when I perform today, I never forget Davis on that song. When I sing high notes, I’m mimicking the feel of his trumpet.

     



     

    - Philip Bailey* (as told to Marc Myers for USA Today)



     

    *singer-songwriter Philip Bailey, 62, has been a member of Earth, Wind & Fire since 1971. Then band’s “Now, Then & Forever” will be released this month.

    151671
Submitted by Site Factory admin on Mon, 09/09/2013 - 05:30


via USA Today



When I was 9 years old, growing up in Denver in the 1960s, I’d spend hours listening to my friend’s mother’s record collection.

While everyone was outside playing - including my friend, Phyllis Love - I’d be inside Phyllis’s house, alone, listening to music. Her mother knew I was a different kind of kid and that I wouldn’t mess up her vinyl. My favourite song was “Blue In Green” from Miles Davis’s 1959 album “Kind Of Blue”

“Blue In Green” [by Miles Davis & Bill Evans] is a slow ballad and was warm and comforting to me. It was like having a really cool babysitter. To my young ears, the music sounded sophisticated and unpredictable. But in a scary way, I understood exactly what was going on. I could feel that the musicians were saying something important - even before I knew they were jazz giants. I could feel the difference. Miles was on the outside, remote, not inside trying to trick the band into playing junk.

I loved the title of “Blue In Green” - as if the colour blue was seeping into green, slowly changing it and creating a new colour. The song opens with pianist Bill Evans playing these beautiful, delicate chords before Davis comes in with his piercing, muted trumpet. To me, Evans’s piano is the green - evoking innocence with splashes of beautiful colour, like someone who’s chaste and a little uncertain. Then he narrows down the colour, as if dimming the lights.

Davis and saxophonist John Coltrane evoke the blue - a more melancholy and experienced sound. They stay so connected - even with their different approaches. Each musician solos but picks up on each other’s statements and develops them.

When I listen to “Blue In Green” today on my headset, I still feel the same way I once did. Jazz has always been my first love. It has this timeless effect on me. It’s pretty odd that I didn’t become a jazz musician. I went another way because I needed to earn a good living to support my large family. But even when I perform today, I never forget Davis on that song. When I sing high notes, I’m mimicking the feel of his trumpet.

 



 

- Philip Bailey* (as told to Marc Myers for USA Today)



 

*singer-songwriter Philip Bailey, 62, has been a member of Earth, Wind & Fire since 1971. Then band’s “Now, Then & Forever” will be released this month.

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