Miles Davis: So What
Miles Davis (trumpet)
Kind of Blue (Columbia/Legacy CK 64935)
Composed by Miles Davis.
Recorded: New York, March 2, 1959
Rating: 100/100 (learn more)
Miles Davis, artwork by Michael Symonds
Miles Davis's 1959 sextet is widely considered the greatest musical group in the history of the universe. Yet neither the scariest lineup since the 1927 Yankees' Murderers Row nor the novelty of modal jazz can explain the enduring mystery of "So What." Derived from Morton Gould’s American Symphonette No. 2 (1938) via Ahmad Jamal’s “Pavanne” (1955), "So What" wasn't this band's first foray into modality; they'd recorded "Milestones" a year before, making "So What" a sequel, and we all know what turkeys those usually are. "So What," though, has attitude. This is the coolest hipster's shrug of all time. So what.
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz