When I heard about the project, I thought it was probably one of the following:
- An idiosyncratic but loving tribute to an iconic jazz album that everyone hears at some point in their lives, even if they’re not a jazz fan
- A commentary on the state of jazz, particularly mainstream jazz, where recreations of bop and Blue Note happen with regularity
- A clever piece of self-promotion, guaranteed to get a response. As they say, “Any publicity is good publicity.”
- All of the above
Whatever the band’s original intent, they have certainly succeeded at #3. I frankly don’t care how well the band “succeeded” at the project; by definition it will be different, no matter how hard they tried to ape the original. In a weird way, I admire their resolve, because it’s one thing to say, “Hey, let’s practice and record as close a copy of Kind of Blue as we can” and another to actually go do it.
One unexpected side effect of listing to MOPDK’s version is it made me want to go back and listen to the original, something I hadn’t done in years. I bookmarked certain passages in my brain, interested in how Miles and his band had played them. So if nothing else, perhaps MOPDK has done us a service, by causing us to focus again on the genius of that group in that time, and making us realize that, as in all things, time marches on and so must the music some of us still like to call Jazz.