Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Ahmad Jamal's "New Rhumba" and Miles Davis's "So What"

Today, I listened to Miles Davis's 1957 album "Miles Ahead", which I know well but haven't listened to it in a while. Listening to it in the background while grading, I noticed the Ahmad Jamal composition "New Rhumba", with its striking bass line and call-and-response structure that anticipate "So What" from Davis's 1959 album "Kind of Blue." While Paul Chambers is the bassist on both Davis tracks, Israel Crosby played the same bass line in "New Rhumba" on Jamal's original 1955 recording of  the tune. Neither Jamal's nor Davis's "New Rhumba" is identical to "So What", but Davis and Chambers surely had the Jamal tune in mind for the later composition. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 16 November 2021)

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