Interesting question. You realize that your example of something like Kind Of Blue being recorded in the 50's was a mono recording? THAT placement is all about tight mic patterns and real engineers understanding the relationships between sound sources and an arranger who understands that every note has its own voice....... but I digress....
It is hard to get a proper soundfield and separation using stereo sources such as electronic instruments and synths. I suppose you could make a patch mono for panning purposes but this kind of defeats the sound itself which usually has a plethora of stuff in its stereo spread which wouldnt be heard as a mono source.
So it gets down to using less of something in the arrangement. Placement of notes. Perhaps finding the basic stereo soundsource you want as the foundation of the song and then adding mono sources to the mix at different points in the panoramic spectrum.
I think if you want to discover new territory for yourself in this you have to start by collapsing different sounds into mono sources and placing them at different spots within a soundfield. experiment and have fun.