Only the most stubborn among us can have resisted Columbia's persistent entreaties to acquire their very own copy of the world's most popular jazz album.
Between its release in 1959 and the first CD issue in 1984, there were only two ways of hearing Kind of Blue: stereo or mono. Since 1984, it has been reissued a further eight times in CD and vinyl formats, each purporting to offer ever-closer aural proximity to that legendary horn.
This latest edition promises virtually every squeak, slur and false start of the sessions spread across two CDs, along with a DVD, Celebrating a Masterpiece, whose most interesting element is a 26-minute TV appearance of the Kind of Blue band. The first CD features the original five tracks and 10 out-takes of the same material.
The second offers earlier tracks by the same band, previously available as "Miles '58" or "Stella By Starlight", plus a hitherto unreleased 1960 live cut of "So What". One can't help feeling that just about every last morsel of commercial potential has now been squeezed out of this album; but for those few who have yet to succumb, Kind of Blue remains one of the most quietly gripping of jazz recordings, the synergy between Miles, John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley and Bill Evans operating on an almost telepathic level, enabling them to chart new terrain without scaring the horses.
Pick of the album: 'So What', 'All Blues'