NPR logo Happy Birthday, 'Kind Of Blue'

Happy Birthday, 'Kind Of Blue'

The inimitable Miles Davis, in 1955. ) Hulton Archive/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The inimitable Miles Davis, in 1955. )

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Kind of Blue, Miles Davis's legendary record, was released 50 years ago today. To say "everyone" would be hyperbole, but many, many people have a Kind of Blue story — when she first heard it, the long night it helped him get through, the connection they made telling one another those stories. I first heard it — where else? — in college, when my roommate played it for me. We had the coziest dorm room, and some afternoons we'd lie in our bunks with Blue playing, just taking it all in — the melodies, the mood, the rain coming down outside. There's something about that recording that take me right back to that place, the soothing-yet-reinvigorating time-outs we took from our crazy freshman year — with its typical themes of upheaval and self-discovery.

So, Happy Birthday, Kind of Blue. You're being celebrated across the web. Here are two interesting takes: Fred Kaplan explains why Kind of Blue is so great, and from two years ago, NPR's Jazz Profiles spends an hour with the album.

NPR thanks our sponsors