Bass Walk of the Week: Paul Chambers on Miles Davis' "So What"

With a couple of bass notes, Paul Chambers kicks off Miles Davis' Kind of Blue, an album of staggering influence.

Chambers' bass is the first instrument you hear in the album's lead-off track, "So What," and the first to state the main melody. But it's the walking bassline he plays beneath Miles' first solo that concerns us today, in our first installment of Walk of the Week—a series where we examine some of the famous walking bass lines from jazz's best bassists.

In the video above, Jake Hawrylak takes us through a D dorian lick that Chambers uses in "So What" and "almost any time that there was a D minor chord on a recording." It's a deceptively simple run that gives the song much of its forward momentum.

Check it out above, and be sure to check back for the next Walk of the Week.


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