‘So What’ – A Jazz Solo Study
‘So What’ is a very well known jazz composition and the opening track on the famous 1959 Miles Davis album ‘Kind of Blue’. The song features only two chords, Dm and Ebmin and is composed within the Dorian mode, making it one of the best known examples of modal jazz. Many famous jazz artists have covered this composition since it was first recorded.
The opening piano chords on the recording (played by pianist Bill Evans) are very distinctive voicings, composed of three stacked intervals of a perfect fourth and a major third. These now iconic chords have in fact been termed the ‘So What chords’ by several noted jazz educators.
The following multi-page solo is a single line study written over the chord changes to the composition and hopefully will serve to give you some ideas you could incorporate into your own playing. There is also an audio file (played via MIDI piano) posted below that you can listen to hear how the solo sounds against the original chords.
Here’s a PDF file of the whole solo, and below that the audio file. I recommend listening to the audio first and then working slowly through the solo, perhaps learning short sections at a time that particularly appeal to you.
I hope you enjoy learning this solo on So What,