hass anyone heard the song "so what" by miles davis?

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by metalbasskid, Feb 6, 2003.

  1. I LOVE THE BASSLINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  2. Kid Charlemagne

    Kid Charlemagne

    May 29, 2002
    Yeah, I think I've heard it a couple of times! ;)

    Welcome to the wonderful world of Miles, metalbasskid! :D
  3. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    My response exactly.

    For other possible Miles newbies, that track is from the CD Kind of Blue


    Darn it, now I gotta move this to recordings!
  4. Ummm, yeah, I think so.....
    Just kidding! Man, that is THE most famous Miles Davis tune, and the album it came from is considered by some to be THE jazz album of all time. The album is Kind Of Blue. Learn that tune (all of it, not just the head) and you will have a great insight to the world of jazz bass. For your info, it's a modal tune, ie, it has no 1 chord, just the 2 (Dm) and the b3 (Ebm7). The bassist was Paul Chambers, and the album was reputedly recorded in one hit. Miles apparently scribbled down a few basic ideas, and they just went in and did it.
  5. Johnalex


    Jul 20, 2001
    South Carolina
    Good song my friend. doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo....SOO WHAT!..Thanks its in my head now.
  6. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    No, I've not heard that one. Is it new?
  7. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    It's modal (like you said) - it doesn't have chords, as such (well, the head section does - Em11 Dm11, Fm11 and Ebm11. But there are essentially quartal chords with a third on top - e.g. E A D G B).

    For the solos, really, It has scales, not chords - and they are D Dorian and Eb Dorian. D is not the 2, and Ebm is not the b3. D is the 1, and then it changes to Eb, at which point Eb is 1. It's not in C.
  8. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    So what the bloody hell is it doing in Recording Gear & Equipment? :D
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Is it a song?!!

    Well - it's really just a two-chord improv, with an intro by Bill Evans/Miles - the vast majority of it is completely improvised, has no vocal and is nothing like a "song" as such!
  10. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    Um, that's not really what it means to be a modal tune. What it means is that the Dm IS the 1! And the tonality/modality you associate with that "1" is D dorian. To say that the D dorian is somehow the 2 is to imply that the piece is in C, which it most definitely is not. All "1" means, basically, is the resting point of the tune--where the tonal center is. It's just plain incorrect to say that "So What" has no 1. D is the 1, the chord associated with it is basically Dminorish and extensions thereof (I simplify here), and the scale/mode associated with it is D dorian.

    This is a problem that you often run into when trying to fit modal music into the straightjacket of the major-minor harmony we learn in music school. namely, it sometimes just doesn't fit. A lot of music is just modal, period.

    This is also the problem with learning the modes *solely* as being associated with degrees of the major scale. It often works when analyzing diatonic major harmony, but it falls down in dealing with music that is fundamentally modal.
  11. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Thankyou! This is what I was trying to say...
  12. Great song... The head was one of the first things my first bass teacher ever taught me; I thought I was such a badass when I finally got it right :D I still play it every so often...sadly, I'm sloppier now in that song than when I first learned it :oops:
  13. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    It's got rhythm, it's got melody. Sounds like a song to me.
  14. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    ...it's got its girl, who could ask for anything more?
  15. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    I think Bruce is coming from the school that says if there's no vocal part, it's not a song but a tune or a piece or whatever. You don't have to actually sing the song, but a vocal part has to exist. In that view, Somewhere Over the Rainbow is a song even if you play it on solo bass, but, say, Bemsha Swing isn't. I tend to come from that school myself, as I think it preserves a useful distinction. Of course, there's also the question of whether when you add lyrics to an instrumental piece, that piece then becomes a "song" .... like what Manhattan Transfer did with Birdland.
  16. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Why is this still in Recording Gear & Equipment? Moderator?!
  17. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Exactly - a song is something that is sung - by definition - if it was written to be sung, it is a song. If not, it is something else!! Easy!! ;)

    So composers, wrote lieder to be sung - but not piano concertos!!
  18. i was wondering about it because my school jazz band is playing the song for a competition coming up. we are gonna sound pretty good for a middle school band. the only problem is that i might get nervous and blow it cause the song relies on me playing it right.
  19. I'm going to move this to a different forum
  20. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    great tune. great bassist. too bad he left us so early. also too bad he had those intonation problems on that album...not that that hindered his creativity one bit.