Freddie Freeloader (9:46)

Cover of Kind of Blue

From Kind of Blue and 92 other releases

“Freddie Freeloader” is a composition by Miles Davis and is the second track on his seminal album Kind of Blue. The piece takes the form of a twelve-bar blues in B-flat, but the chord over the final two bars of each chorus is an A-flat7, not the traditional B-flat7 followed by either F7 for a turnaround or some variation of B-flat7 for an ending. Davis employed Wynton Kelly as the pianist for this track in place of Bill Evans, as Kelly was something of a blues specialist. The solos are by Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, and Wynton Kelly.

According to the documentary Kind of Blue: Made in Heaven, the song was named after an individual named Freddie who would frequently try to see the music Davis and others performed without paying (thus freeloading). The name may have also been inspired by Red Skelton’s most famous character, “Freddie the Freeloader” the hobo clown.

“Freddie Freeloader” has proven to be one of Davis’ most enduring compositions. It was recorded by Stanley Jordan for his debut album Magic Touch.

Miles was always looking for something new. So when the fans asked him (many years after he composed this record) to play “that music of Kind of Blue” (or anything from that era of cool blues in jazz) he usually refused and got angry because he wanted to show the people what was the real stuff “right now”. After that record he made various excellent records in the same mood, like Nefertiti, Some day my prince will come, Ballads, etc. But then he knew that the days of that kind of jazz were over and he switched to create a new variety, usually called “jazz-rock”, starting with his “Bitches Brew”.

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