Ever wanted to know what made the artists in your music library tick? What albums inspired their own? Their own personal musical history? Wonder no more for Mytacism Music has got your Monday Inspiration to show you the albums that inspired the albums. This week we are asking Alyx Knight why Mile Davis’ ‘Kind Of Blue’ inspired them.
What made you pick up the album?
I was really into blues as a teenager and finally was moving my way into jazz. I started working at a record store and had heard so much about this quintessential jazz album that Miles Davis had made in the late 50s. I picked up a copy for like 8 bucks. Wish I could say that it was magical the first time I heard it. But I don’t think I fully understood its significance until at least a year of really dissecting it.
Where were you when you first heard the album in its entirety?
I remember sitting in my parents living room during the holiday break, a couple months after buying it. I had an eggnog and was staring at the christmas tree, with the whiteness of winter shining in from the front window. I put it on and finally the forms, melodies settled in. I had to google who was playing what, and how they played. I still get chills from Bill Evans’ piano in ‘Blue In Green’. From that moment I was completely hooked.
Where did the album take you on your first listen?
It was kind of the start of my jazz “education”. From there I went into heavy, heavy listening. You could say I went full “jazz nerd”. Went out and bought all of Coltrane’s work, even the avant-garde records. Also carried on into Miles’ later discography, Cannonball Adderley’s stuff too.
Why did it inspire your own work?
In a weird way I’m sure it informed the music we make today. Even though our synth-pop vibe may seem completely different. The more you listen, the more you realize all music isn’t that far removed from each other.
Are there any lyrics that stuck with you from the record?
Nope. It’s an instrumental record.
Do you have a favourite track?
‘So What’. Front to back. An amazing Evans’ intro, catchy lines, great solos from Davis, Coltrane, Adderley. Arguably, as close to a pop composition as Davis wrote.
Do you have any particular memories attached to the record?
I remember being in my late teens (legal drinking age is 18 where were from) heading to these awfully, cheesy clubs with lasers, sticky floors, bar stars staggering around. To keep some form of sanity I’d listen to ‘Kind of Blue’ in the car on the way there. Kind of surreal when I think about it. The bar scene wore out its welcome pretty quickly. I think that informed some of the lyrics off this record ‘Physical Memory’ specifically “We Are Strange”. Not having a sense of belonging to a scene that you’ve been told you should be a part of.