Solar (composition)

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Miles Davis' tombstone showing the first two measures of Solar

"Solar" (/ˈslər/ or /sˈlɑːr/) is a musical composition attributed to Miles Davis on the studio album Walkin' (1954), considered a modern jazz standard. The tune has been played and recorded by many musicians, including his former bandmates Bill Evans, Dave Holland, Keith Jarrett, Lee Konitz, and Jack DeJohnette.

A controversy exists over authorship of this composition. One consensus[1][2] is that Davis took "Solar" from the song "Sonny" written by jazz guitarist Chuck Wayne. Dutch drummer and composer Pierre Courbois composed a tune called "RALOS" on the "Solar" chords in 7/4.

The first two measures of this song adorn Miles Davis's tombstone in Woodlawn Cemetery.

Chord structure[edit]

Solar is considered a blues[3] by most listeners, and the commonly accepted chord structure[4] for this piece is:

A CmMaj7 % Cm7 or Gm7 Gm7 : C7
  FMaj7 % Fm7 Bb7
  EbMaj7 Ebm7 : Ab7 DbMaj7 Dm7b5 : G7



  1. ^ Voce, Steve. Chuck Wayne Obituary. The Independent (London), 1997 August 1 (link). Accessed 6 August 2007
  2. ^ Appelbaum, Larry. "Chuck Wayne, Sonny & Solar". In the Muse: Performing Arts Blog, Library of Congress. Retrieved 3 July 2012. 
  3. ^ Pachet, François (February 2000). "Computer Analysis of Jazz Chord Sequences: Is Solar a Blues?" (PDF). Readings in Music and Artificial Intelligence. 
  4. ^ New Real Book Volume 1. New Real Book Volume 1. Petalnuma, CA: Sher Music Co., 1988