"Blue in Green"
Composition by Bill Evans and Miles Davis
from the album Kind of Blue
ReleasedAugust 17, 1959 (1959-08-17)
RecordedMarch 2, 1959
GenreModal jazz
Composer(s)Bill Evans, Miles Davis
Producer(s)Teo Macero

"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"), the melody of "Blue in Green" is very modal, incorporating the presence of the Dorian, Mixolydian, and Lydian modes. This is the only tune on which 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 pieces 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, stated that "Blue in Green" was indeed "100-percent Bill's."[2] In a radio interview broadcast on May 27, 1979, Evans himself said that he had written the piece. 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 alleged that when he suggested that he was entitled to a share of the royalties, Davis wrote him a check for $25.[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]



  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 Zindars states that the composition was entirely Evan's handiwork: "I know that [one] is 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.