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MUS 113 — Kind of Blue: Understanding a Jazz Masterpiece

Quarter: Winter
Day(s): Tuesdays
Course Format: On-campus
Duration: 5 weeks
Date(s): Feb 5—Mar 5
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm
Drop Deadline: Feb 18
Unit: 1
Tuition: $315
Instructor(s): Jim Nadel
Limit: 40
Status: Open
7:00—8:50 pm
Feb 5—Mar 5
5 weeks
Drop By
Feb 18
1 Unit
Jim Nadel
Jazz’s bestselling album ever, Miles Davis’ 1959 recording Kind of Blue, occupies a unique place in jazz history and in the imaginations of jazz listeners and musicians worldwide. Each of the brilliant musicians who was involved in its creation went on to make a major individual contribution to jazz—Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, Bill Evans, Paul Chambers, Jimmy Cobb, and Wynton Kelly. Together, they formed one of the greatest jazz groups of all time, and their collective work is recognized as one of the most beautiful and far-reaching jazz recordings ever made.

This course invites the general listener, even one without any musical training, to step inside Kind of Blue and begin to understand this compelling music from the musicians’ point of view. By examining the forms of its compositions and musical elements, we can reach a deeper enjoyment of this jazz masterpiece, and understand why this music continues to delight through repeated listens.

Jim Nadel, Founder and Artistic Director, Stanford Jazz Workshop

Jim Nadel has been at Stanford for more than forty years. He has been a lecturer in jazz studies for the Stanford Department of Music for more than thirty years. Nadel plays the saxophone professionally and is also a composer and an arranger.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.