Miles Davis Analysis - so What and Autumn Leaves

1087 words 5 pages
‘So What’ Miles Davis Solo Analysis

Miles Davis’ solo is very minimalistic mainly using crotchet and quaver rhythms throughout with the occasional triplet or semiquaver grace note. For the A sections of the first chorus he bases phrases around the minor pentatonic scale. He develops his opening motif (bar 2 of A1) in bar 4-7 returning to the root (E) in between each ascending then descending phrase going up to the 7th (D) in the final variation of the motif. The phrase lengths are irregular; Davis generally uses shorter phrases in the E minor Sections taking a vertical approach to the improvisation then uses longer phrases in the contrasting F minor section where he takes a more horizontal approach. In A1 of the second chorus Davis’
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Similarly to ‘So What’ he leaves rests between the phrases where the piano fills and this solo has a similar range to ‘So What’ ranging from Concert D to A.

The Potboiler by John D’Earth – Structure and use of instruments

http://cti.itc.virginia.edu/%7Eskd9r/Jazz-elements/Potboiler.mp3

The head follows the 32-bar song form (AABA) and uses the rhythm changes chord progression. There are 6 choruses in total, in the first the head is established with the trumpet and tenor sax playing the melody in octaves for the A sections. In the B section they play in the same octave then harmonise in the last two bars. They return to playing in octaves for the A section. During the head the piano plays chords in syncopated rhythms and the drums use a basic swung rhythm with hits emphasising off beats notes in the melody. In choruses 2 and 3 (0.50) the sax and trumpet do a traded solo, i.e. Sax for 8 bars, Trumpet for 8, Sax for 8, Trumpet for 8, Sax for 4, Trumpet for 4, Sax for 4, Trumpet for 4, Sax for 2, Trumpet for 2 etc.. for the 2 full choruses. The two soloists imitate melodic/rhythmic motifs the other player has used during the solo. During the solo the piano continues comping using the middle octaves of the piano. The drums continue to use the same swung rhythm with the occasional fill towards the end of phrases. The double bass is very subtle in the solos making it

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