Blue in Green

"Blue in Green"
Composition by Bill Evans and Miles Davis from the album Kind of Blue
Released August 17, 1959
Recorded March 2, 1959
Genre Jazz
Length 5:37
Label Columbia
Composer(s) Bill Evans, Miles Davis
Producer(s) Teo Macero
Kind of Blue track listing

"Freddie Freeloader"
"Blue in Green"
"All Blues"

"Blue in Green" is the third tune on Miles Davis' 1959 album, Kind of Blue. One of two ballads on the LP (the other being "Flamenco Sketches"), "Blue in Green"'s melody is very modal, incorporating the presence of the dorian, mixolydian, and lydian modes. This is the only song where Cannonball Adderley sits out.

It has long been speculated that pianist Bill Evans wrote "Blue in Green",[1] even though the LP and most jazz fakebooks credit only Davis with its composition. In his autobiography, Davis maintains that he alone composed the songs on Kind of Blue. The version on Evans' trio album Portrait in Jazz, recorded in 1959, credits the tune to "Davis-Evans". Earl Zindars, in an interview conducted by Win Hinkle, said that "Blue in Green" was 100-percent written by Bill Evans.[2] In a radio interview broadcast on May 27, 1979, Evans himself said that he had written the song. On being asked about the issue by interviewer Marian McPartland, he said: "The truth is I did [write the music]... I don't want to make a federal case out of it, the music exists, and Miles is getting the royalties..."[3] Evans recounted that when he suggested that he was entitled to share of the royalties, Davis wrote him a check for 25 dollars.[4]

In a recording made in December 1958 or January 1959 for Chet Baker's album Chet (prior to the Kind of Blue sessions), Evans' introduction on the jazz standard "Alone Together" has been directly compared to his playing on "Blue in Green".[5]

Notable covers


  1. The notes accompanying «Bill Evans - The Complete Riverside Recordings», published in 1984, give credit to both Evans and Davis: (Davis-Evans) Jazz Horn Music/Warner-Tamerlane Publ. — BMI)
  2. See page 20 of the Fall 1993 issue of Letter from Evans, where Earl Zindars says: "I know that it is [100-percent Bill's] because he wrote it over at my pad where I was staying in East Harlem, 5th floor walkup, and he stayed until 3 o'clock in the morning playing these six bars over and over."
  3. "Bill Evans On Piano Jazz" (NPR) at 35m30s. Recorded November 6, 1978; originally broadcast May 27, 1979.
  4. Peter Pettinger, How My Heart Sings, Yale University Press (1983), pp. 82-82.
  5. "Chet (20 Bit Mastering)" at Amazon.
  6. "Overtime overview".
  7. "Overtime Lee Ritenour".
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