2 MILES FROM HERE (2015)

 

          '2 Miles from Here' is essentially a pair of variations on the song 'So What' by Miles Davis. This idea naturally raises the question, "what constitutes a theme in improvisational jazz?". It could be the bass line, it could be the melody, or it could even be the chord progression. When this song was first composed and performed for the recording of the album 'Kind of Blue', Davis was experimenting with a wholly new method for creating small ensemble jazz music. Instead of writing out a melody with a chord chart and using the typical repeat and solo structure to perform, Davis gave his band a set of scales and durations that the musicians would then improvise with. The most concrete bit of musical material would be a small amount for the bass and piano to open and ground some songs, which although credited to Davis were often conceived in the session in collaboration with the other sidemen. Given the way the songs on this now iconic album came into existence, the definitive 'themes by Davis' are his trumpet solo and the harmonic motive that the rest of the song is based on. The first half of this quintet is a chorale, the cantus firmus of which is an exact transposition of Miles' trumpet solo from 'So What' (with some rhythmic variance). This meditative expanse of music continues for about half the piece until the music finally erupts into a fast paced fanfare-like section based on the famous 'So What' chord and it's motivic whole step motion.
 

If you are interested in performing this piece, or purchasing a printed score, click the button below to check out the webstore: