Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Miles Davis and John Coltrane: So What



This video clip is an amazing moment in music. I love the shot of Miles playing while John Coltrane looks on. Then Miles takes time out for a smoke while Trane is performing. Too cool. "So What" is from Kind of Blue considered by many to be the greatest jazz album. And it's perfect music to have playing in the background while writing.

18 comments:

ARCHAVIST said...

This is the first jazz album I ever got into - I believe it is the best jazz album ever. I'm really getting into Jazz and this was provoked by comments on the blogs by yourself and Chris over at Louis L'amour.
Thanks for the music.

Josh said...

amazing

Scott Parker said...

"So What" is one of the greatest jazz songs in the jazz canon. I hear new things almost every time I listen to it. Ditto for the rest of the album. As this video shows, it was laid back jazz. It was as if Miles were saying "Just sit back and chill and let us take you on a mental ride." It's fascinating to hear other live recording of Miles playing this song over the years and hear and he, himself, changed the piece.

I just picked up Miles...from India and "So What" is on that CD with Chick Corea on piano. On the Absolute Beginners soundtrack (import), there's a vocal version of "So What" that works very well.

There are two songs I listen to over and over again. "So What" is one of them. "Take Five" is the other (but that's mainly b/c I play alto sax and that's arguably the most famous alto sax solo out there). Both are great songs but SW is much more versatile. I'm going to write more about Miles in 2009.

Thanks for the link.

Chris said...

I've listened to Kind of Blue so much that I have almost every solo memorized, particularly Miles' solo on "So What." It is interesting to hear his approach on this version. His phrasing is very similar and I hear lots of ideas that mirror his solo on the album version. Not sure where I'm going with this, but it's interesting to hear the overlap. I think Scott is right--Miles was into a more laid back style of playing during this period. Then Coltrane comes on and plays a million notes a minute! LOL

Another interesting thing about this video is to see Wynton Kelly with the group, rather than Bill Evans. Evans played on all but one track on Kind of Blue, and his approach to voicing chords on the piano on "So What" has become iconic. Interesting to see how Kelly approaches it here, since his style is so different from Evans.

Clare2e said...

Good stuff, David!

A Love Supreme is that little one I personally reach for again and again. It's cleansing and trance-making for me.

Scott Parker said...

As a sax player, A Love Supreme is at the top of my list of musical expressions. It's transcendental solos are sublime and full of emotion. The deluxe edition, with a second CD that features not only alternate takes but the only known live version, is a fascinating glimpse, like the live versions of "So What," into the mind of a genius on the move.

David Cranmer said...

Archavist, You started with the best. Anything by Coltrane, Brubeck, or Chet Baker would be worthy follow-ups. Medeski, Martin, & Wood are also tops in my book.

Josh, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Scott, I never get sick of this song. And I agree I always find some touch of it that's different and exciting. I would look forward to some of your detailed reviews highlighting Miles.

Chris, Ditto to everything you said. Ha. You and Scott can put into words more easily what I'm thinking. I listened to different versions of "So What" on YouTube and it was refreshing to hear the different approaches. All different, all brilliant.

Clare, Arguably, his finest moment. I am also mesmerized by Giant Steps.

Barbara Martin said...

I learned to like jazz after spending a winter in rural Alberta where the only radio station that came in clear without an antenna was the University of Alberta station from Edmonton. They had a study lesson every weekday night on the History of Jazz for an hour. Great music for writing crime noirs.

Charles Gramlich said...

I can see how this would put you in a certain mood for writing. I admire the skill here, although I'm generally a rock and roll kind of guy. I prefer my musical solos to be on guitar or drums. No doubt there is a lot of talent showing here, though.

pattinase (abbott) said...

God, I love those two.

David Cranmer said...

Barbara, It's the perfect music for writing crime noirs with all that atmospheric mood. Blues is another genre that fits the bill extremely well.

Charles, I was a fan of rock for years but grew tired of the political opinions and the tendency to gear lyrics toward teens. But, every now and then nothing, beats some of the classic rockers, like a little AC/DC.

Patti, And they both passed away much too soon. If only they were still alive today making even more classics.

Scott Parker said...

Patti,

If you love Miles and Trane, check out the complete Miles Davis and John Coltrane boxed set. It captures the Kind of Blue sessions and much more. I have almost every boxed Miles Davis set there is...and it's one of the best...natch.

bish8 said...

WAY COOL!

Sarah Hina said...

God, I love this stuff. Although Stan Getz will always be closer to my heart, I recognize the enormity of Coltrane's genius. Miles too, of course. We have this album, too.

And yes, as you alluded to David, Chet Baker is divine. There's just something so wonderfully intimate about his voice and playing. What a mood maker he is.

Thanks for the listen! Definitely makes for great writing music.

David Cranmer said...

Bish, it sure is.

Sarah, My wife and I listened to Stan as we were traveling home for the holidays... Sadly, we lost Miles and Getz the same year.

Todd Mason said...

With the KIND OF BLUE sessions, we must credit Bill Evans for bringing the concept of modal improvisation to the band, which this album is an example of, and which Evans had picked up in his previous work with George Russell.

See Russell's JAZZ WORKSHOP album for more doors blowing off.

David Cranmer said...

You are so right. Bill Evans can't be underestimated. His enormous contribution is comparable to George Martin with The Beatles.

eda said...

101煙火,煙火批發,煙火工廠,製造浪漫煙火小舖,101煙火,煙火小舖,煙火,衣蝶,衣蝶,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣商品,情趣,情趣,衣蝶情趣精品百貨,衣蝶情趣精品百貨,情趣用品衣蝶,情趣用品衣蝶,煙火批發,情趣禮品,成人用品,情趣內衣,情趣精品,情趣商品,單身戀人圖影區,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣,情趣,真愛密碼情趣用品,真愛密碼,真愛密碼,真愛密碼情趣用品,情趣用品真愛密碼,情趣用品真愛密碼,