Relive 1959, The Golden Year of Jazz, In A New Photoblog Project

Miles Davis - Kind of Blue (1959)

Jazz fan Natalie Weiner launched a blog called The 1959 Project with day-to-day looks at the genre’s most famous year.

When researching for my final year dissertation, Ted Gioia’s The History of Jazz was a valuable tome and it helped (I got a First for the dissertation). Jazz history is fascinating and enriching when you travel through every decade of progression. But one year stands out from the rest for many fans: 1959. It was a landmark year with some going as far as calling it the year jazz died (although I’ve written an article on why jazz isn’t dead at all after a second unrelated claim).

But for superfan Natalie Weiner, it’s a chance to recapture that essence in a new photoblog project. The 1959 Project “celebrates that year in musical breakthroughs and photographic near-perfection” along with captions, news clippings, and media clips.

It’s a beautifully designed site with artefacts from a golden year of jazz. If you’re unfamiliar with how big 1959 was for the genre, check out the list below. But before you do, take a listen to the biggest jazz album of that year and of all time: Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue.

Jazz albums from 1959

  • Chet Baker – Chet
  • Dave Brubeck – Time Out
  • Ornette Coleman – Tomorrow Is the Question! and The Shape of Jazz to Come
  • John Coltrane – Giant Steps
  • Miles Davis – Kind of Blue
  • Bill Evans Trio – Portrait in Jazz
  • Coleman Hawkins – Hawk Eyes
  • Milt Jackson and John Coltrane – Bags & Trane
  • Wynton Kelly – Kelly Blue
  • Charles Mingus – Mingus Ah Um
  • Blue Mitchell – Blue Soul
  • Thelonious Monk – Thelonious Alone in San Francisco
  • Wes Montgomery – The Wes Montgomery Trio
  • Gerry Mulligan – Gerry Mulligan Meets Ben Webster
  • Sun Ra and His Arkestra – Jazz in Silhouette
  • Max Roach – The Many Sides of Max
  • Horace Silver – Blowin’ the Blues Away
  • Dinah Washington – What a Diff’rence a Day Makes!

About Luke Alex Davis

Luke Davis is a music producer and editor of music blog Sampleface. In his spare time, he enjoys watching tennis and football and reading.

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