The long and short of it is, it inspired Davis to created a style that allowed for more freeform expression. In his autobiography Davis said this about modal jazz, “The challenge here, when you work in the modal way, is to see how inventive you can become melodically. It’s not like when you base stuff on chords, and you know at the end of 32 bars that the chords have run out and there’s nothing to do but repeat what you’ve done with the variations.”
Kind of Blue was Davis’ musical embodiment of this and, as Lefevre explains, in making it Davis created a landmark album in the process. “[But] more than just an album,” notes Lefevre. “Kind of Blue was a statement. It was Miles Davis showing the jazz scene what was possible when you started to think of the genre in new ways. And it wasn’t just jazz that was impacted by the modal shift. This would go on to influence all kinds of music from funk and soul, to R&B and rock in the coming decades. And so, with the help of some of the greatest musicians ever to play, Miles Davis successfully reinvented jazz.”
Check out the Noah Lefevre’s Miles Davis Kind of Blue video below. Check out more from Polyphonic here.