Sunday, August 09, 2009

The Coolest 9 Minutes and 35 Seconds Ever Broadcast?

A little more than 49 years ago, on July 21, 1960, CBS broadcast "The Sound of Miles Davis" on an episode of Robert Herridge Theater. The show featured a set recorded on April 2, 1959.

At the top of the program, the Miles Davis Quintet (including John Coltrane on tenor) launched into a soulful, stunning rendition of So What, the studio version of which was laid down one month earlier on March 2, 1959. For the millions of fans of jazz music who have memorized the studio version, the CBS version opens a window into how the song evolved in the months following its famous recording.

Since So What is the most memorable track on Kind of Blue, the most famous jazz album of all time, I think you're forced to conclude that these are the coolest 9 minutes, 35 seconds in the history of broadcast television.
Update (8/17): Kind of Blue was released fifty years ago today.

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