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Released in 1959 as the first track of Miles Davis’s quintessential album Kind of Blue, “So What” is a relatively simple blues jazz piece.
It begins with an extended improvised bass solo which eventually morphs into the bass line of the song. “So What” is one of a very few jazz pieces where the bass line, and more specifically the bass, has the melody: the rest of the ensemble plays simple accent notes. This bass line melody along with the accent notes continues for several measures before the ensemble breaks off for solos. Davis takes the first solo, thought by some to be one of his best, before it moves on to John Coltrane on the tenor sax. Solos continue from there, and a final repetition of the melody brings the song to an end.
This is a great song for anyone looking for a platform to practice improvisation, and it is very flexible to a wide range of jazz instruments.
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