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/collaborators Lee Konitz, Bill Evans, Dave Holland, Keith Jarrett or Jack DeJohnette. A controversy exists over authorship of this composition and one current consensus[1][2] holds that Davis' "Solar" is essentially an earlier song, "Sonny", written by Chuck Wayne. Dutch drummer and composer Pierre Courbois composed a tune called "RALOS" on the Solar chords in 7/4. His Quintet was playing this song for years and years en it is on CD since 1995.

The first two measures of this song adorn Miles Davis' 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

Recordings[edit]

References[edit]

  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