Night Music: So What

February 23, 2008

The two iconic characters of my youthful jazz fascination play here together on “So What”. John Coltrane is at his supercool best, and this is the early more accessible Miles Davis who actually faces his audience.

Much as I love his work, I am not sure I could pull a Coltrane sound from a range of other sax players. But it only takes a note or two for the Miles Davis sound to be apparent. No-one ever made the trumpet sound that way. There is a sort of bright shininess to the upper register that drapes itself around every note, and is clearly heard no matter whether he plays the coolest of cool meditations or the hottest of symphonic jazz.

Note how Miles, after his solos, walks off to the side and smokes cigarette after cigarette, on camera. Ah, those were the easy-going days!