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P.D. Magnus

Kind of Borrowed, Kind of Blue

Reflection on Mostly Other People Do the Killing's note-for-note remake of "Kind of Blue".

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Abstract

In late 2014, the jazz combo Mostly Other People Do the Killing released "Blue", an album which is a note-for-note remake of Miles Davis' 1959 landmark album "Kind of Blue". MOPDtK (to abbreviate the band's cumbersome name) transcribed all of the solos and performed them with meticulous care so as to produce a recorded album that replicates, as much as they could, the sound of the original. This is a thought experiment made actual, the kind of doppelgänger which philosophers routinely just imagine. I explore some of the ontological and aesthetic puzzles which the album poses. I argue that what makes it rewarding, beyond the mere thought of it, is the respects in which it is not a perfect replica.

BibTeX

@ARTICLE(Magnus2016,
	AUTHOR = {P.D. Magnus},
	TITLE = {Kind of Borrowed, Kind of Blue},
	JOURNAL = {Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism},
	VOLUME = {74},
	NUMBER = {2},
	PAGES = {179--185},
	YEAR = {2016},
	DOI = {doi/10.1111/jaac.12272}
)

The first on-line draft of this paper was posted 2may2015.

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