“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”, 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. 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…” Evans recounted that when he suggested that he was entitled to share of the royalties, Davis wrote him a check for 25 dollars.