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Apr 1, 2020

On this episode, Kirk dives in to one of the most influential jazz recordings of all time. (For real this time.)

As the lead track on Miles Davis's landmark album Kind of Blue, "So What" signaled a new era in jazz harmony, composition, and improvisation. This episode will get into what that actually means, how the tune works, and why the seven musicians who played on Kind of Blue were each such a crucial part of the album's magic.

Artist: Miles Davis

Album: Kind of Blue (1959)

Written by: Miles Davis

Listen/Buy: Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify

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ALSO FEATURED:

  • “Will O’ the Wisp” by Miles Davis and Gil Evans from Sketches of Spain, 1960
  • “Seven Steps to Heaven” by Victor Feldman/Miles Davis from Four And More (Live), 1966
  • “Giant Steps” by John Coltrane from Giant Steps, 1960
  • “Resolution Pt. 2” by John Coltrane from A Love Supreme, 1965
  • “This Here” By Cannonball Adderley from The Cannonball Adderley Quintet in San Francisco, 1960
  • “Mercy Mercy Mercy” by Josef Zawinul from Mercy, Mercy, Mercy, 1966
  • “Autumn Leaves” by by Joseph Kosma, performed by the Bill Evans Trio on Portrait in Jazz, 1959
  • “Dancing in the Dark” by Dietz/Schwartz, performed by the Bill Evans Trio on Trio 64, 1964
  • “No Blues” by Miles Davis performed by Wes Montgomery and the Wynton Kelly Trio on Smokin’ at the Half Note, 1965
  • “Donna Lee” by Charlie Parker/Miles Davis recorded by the Charlie Parker Quintet, 1947
  • “I Wish” by Stevie Wonder from Songs in the Key of Life, 1976
  • “Excursions” by A Tribe Called Quest from The Low End Theory, 1991
  • “Rimshot [Intro]” by Erykah Badu from Erykah Badu: Live, 1997
  • Discussion of Miles: The Autobiography by Miles Davis and Quincy Troupe, 1990
  • Discussion of Ascension: John Coltrane and his Quest by Eric Nisenson, 1995

The Strong Songs Kind of Blue Playlist

Kirk made a new playlist of the recordings discussed on this episode, in the hopes that it would give a sense of how the seven musicians on Kind of Blue went on to make all kinds of great music as bandleaders. It's in chronological order, so don't put it on shuffle. Unless, you know, you want to.

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/1X2ETUpsFfH03FHOZDCiic?si=UHahG4EcRcSQ_tBlpzSakA

Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/playlist/strong-songs-kind-of-blue-playlist/pl.u-mJy8DG8t1g8Ka

OUTRO SOLOIST: BJ Cord

This episode's outro soloist is BJ Cord, a fantastic trumpet player based in Portland. BJ works at Monette trumpets making some of the most beautiful horns in the world, and is a regular presence on their Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/monettetrumpets

'GRAM BY 'GRAM

If you're interested in occasional music and Portland-related photos and videos, as well as teases for upcoming Strong Songs episodes, follow Kirk on Instagram @kirk_hamilton. https://www.instagram.com/kirk_hamilton/

NEWSLETTER/MAILING LIST

Sign up for Kirk's mailing list to start getting monthly-ish newsletters with music recommendations, links, news, and extra thoughts on new Strong Songs episodes: https://kirkhamilton.substack.com/subscribe

STRONG MERCH!

Visit the Strong Songs merch store for some very cool t-shirts, mugs, totes, and more: store.strongsongspodcast.com

STRONG PLAYLISTS

You can find playlists containing every Strong Song as well as all of Kirk's weekly music picks from his other podcast, Kotaku Splitscreen, on both Spotify and Apple Music.

You can also find a new playlist Kirk specifically designed for listening while staying home and not spreading viruses on Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play (thanks Thomas for making that last one)

SUPPORT STRONG SONGS ON PATREON!

Thank you to all of Strong Songs's Patreon patrons; you all are the best. If you want to support Kirk making the show, do so here: https://Patreon.com/StrongSongs

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