Among those appearing will be pianist Andy Jaffe, the Director of the Jazz Program at Williams College and former Artistic Director of the Williamstown Jazz Festival, who will play with his son, bassist Marty Jaffe. The Bob Shepherd Trio, featuring Bob Shepherd on piano, Steve Murray on bass and Dick DiNicola on drums, will perform, along with Don Mikkelsen on trombone and Robert Kelly on piano, as well as pianist Daniel Yudkin.
Also on the program will be guitarists Andy Kelly and Joe Finn. Jeremy Yudkin, Professor of Music at Boston University, will provide insights into the recording sessions for Kind of Blue while also addressing the assertion that the names of two of the album’s songs were erroneously switched. Tom Reney, host of the long-running and very popular jazz show, Jazz a la Mode, on WFCR in Amherst will offer reflections on “Kind of Blue and its Legacy.”
Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue, released on August 17, 1959, is the bestselling jazz record of all time. The album brought together seven now-legendary musicians in the prime of their careers: tenor saxophonist John Coltrane, alto saxophonist Julian “Cannonball” Adderley, pianists Bill Evans and Wynton Kelly, bassist Paul Chambers, drummer Jimmy Cobb, and trumpeter Miles Davis. An innovative blend of Southern gospel, African finger music and influences from classical composers such as Bela Bartok and Maurice Ravel, the album was recorded with virtually no rehearsal and almost entirely from first takes.
Jazz critic Ashley Kahn has compared listening to Kind of Blue to reading James Joyce. “Every time you go to it” he observed, “you come back with something new – a favorite track, a new solo in that track. If that’s not a definition of a masterpiece, I don’t know what is.”
The program is free and open to the public.