Blue Moods – Miles Davis

Artist: Miles Davis

Year: 1955

Genre: Cool Jazz

Grade: A

Blue Moods is one of the more underrated releases in Miles Davis’ extensive catalogue. A short LP at 4 songs, 26 minutes, the record boasts an all-star lineup that also features Charles Mingus and Elvin Jones. Yet all performers, Davis included, are upstaged by vibraphonist Teddy Charles, whose eerie presence brings a sense of unease not often heard in Davis’ early ‘50s recordings.

This is cool jazz at its coolest. “Nature Boy” comes across as a plodding funeral march, led by Charles’ chilling vibes. “Alone Together” follows suit with a rolling and plodding bass line that foreshadows Mingus’ later avant-garde inclinations.

While Blue Moods seems to be a minor one-off not greatly indicative of Davis’ career evolution or trajectory, it is still an essential recording that highlights the important innovations of four young jazz musicians about to rewrite music history.

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