View Full Version : MIles Davis' :MIlestones"

Jan-01-2005, 6:55pm
I heard Garcia/Grisman do this tune on one of their cds but I'm having a tough time finding the chord progression. Can anyone help??

Jan-01-2005, 8:40pm
It's in "The Real Book" and probably more than a few other 'fake' books as well. You might even find it by doing a google search for it if you're really dilligent about following the links ...

If you get stuck, pm me and when I get a few free minutes I can scan a copy, turn it into a pdf and send it your way ...

Jan-01-2005, 10:16pm
Great, thanks. I will try "the real book" and see how I do there.

Jan-01-2005, 10:27pm
oops see below- deleted the notation that was in 1/2 time http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sleepy.gif

Jan-01-2005, 10:30pm
Gm7 /C7/Gm7 /C7/Gm7 /C7/Fmaj7/Fmaj7
Gm7 /C7/Gm7 /C7/Gm7 /C7/Fmaj7/Fmaj7
Am7 16 bars bridge
Gm7 /C7/Gm7 /C7/Gm7 /C7/Fmaj7/Fmaj7
Don't forget to check out the original Miles version w/ Coltrane and Cannonball- whoo! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/laugh.gif

Jan-02-2005, 8:11am
Thanks jmcgann!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love this tune. I wasn't able to pick out those 7ths by ear. Thanks again.

Jan-02-2005, 8:15am
John & WJF, thanks for taking the time. Have a happy and melodic new year.

Peter Hackman
Jan-14-2005, 4:50am
I think of this more as a modal piece. C Mixolydian or
G Dorian on the outside, A Aeolian on the inside.
With variations.

Jan-14-2005, 8:12am
Check out Turtle Island String Quartet -
either from "metropolis" or the self titled first album not 100% sure

doing MileStones


Jan-14-2005, 6:42pm
The Jazz Mandolin Project also turns in a good take on this tune on their album "After Dinner Jams." Less modal, more harmony-based... The group's first cd (eponymous) also features a song entitled "Milestones In The Sunshine" that was inspired by the famous opening phrase from Cannonball's solo on the original. Enjoy!


Jan-15-2005, 10:08am
Peter- you probably know this, but to help confuse others: C mixolydian and G dorian are the same scale- F major is the parent scale. A scale is a row of notes that can be played from any note (of the scale)- when you start on the note C, it is the 5th note of the F scale and so sounds mixolydian- but ANY of the notes of the F scale will "sound mixolydian" as long as the chord in the background is that C7.

The CHORD defines the MOOD and makes it sound like a Mode. It's still just F major, for "tonal organization purposes" (note" to join the Tonal Organization please email Peter and myself $2500 for your free membership card). http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif

Peter Hackman
Jan-16-2005, 6:48am
I haven't heard that song for years
but as I recall the horns are playing triads -
Bflat-C-d minor- C over a C pedal - on the outside.
One might conceive of this as II-V-II-V but to
my ears there is definitely more of a static, modal, feel
to the presentation.

Now, blowing is another thing,
and I believe Davis' groups interpreted that tune
very freely on subsequent live albums.

Jan-16-2005, 9:26am
I once saw Jerry & David playing in a living room, and they started into some of the tunes that later became the CD. So What, Milestones, Bags Groove. It blew me away that Jerry could twin the melody of So What with David, note for note..... I knew David was steeped in jazz history, back in the late 70's-early 80's he taught me about jazz by loaning me 10 records at a time to go home & tape. He has an incredible collection of jazz on vinyl, well in those days there weren't Cd's so......he would say ok lets do Miles this time.......here he is with Charlie Parker, here's one with Cannonball Adderly & Bill Evans & John Coltrane.....here's one with Monk, etc. I'd take em home & tape em on my reel to reel, bring em back & he'd ask which ones I liked best & we talked about them. I might say well I really dug the one with Bill Evans & he's say ok lets do Bill Evans this time & load me up again with a selection of Bill's discography. One thing I learned was a record that, at the time, I might have thought was too far out for me when I first listened to it, a few years later as my ear evolved, I might really dig it, so I learned to not be so critical and kept going back to some of the records that I thought weren't my favorites.... This was the early DGQ days & Todd, Tony,Darol, all of us were big into discovering the classic jazz stuff....thru David. He was always willing to share information about music....but I'll tell you.... as an old Deadhead I knew Jerry had big ears, but was surprised he could play these jazz tunes so well. That is my favorite of the Garcia/Grisman CD's. Maybe I oughta try & play Milestones myself....I've got the chords now, thanks to John.

Jan-16-2005, 5:16pm
Arthur, wow man, what a great education! I discovered a lot of that music around the same time I discovered the DGQ ('77) which led to many happy hours gouging LP's over and over trying to learn solos...

Peter- you are right about those triads, all over a sort of C bass pedal, so it's a bit like Csus4... one can analyse those triads functions over the 5 chord and see how what we think of as "static chords" don't HAVE to be static- the Bb/C is a valid C dominant sound used all the time, the Dm/C again is like 9 11 13 over the C... pianists and guitarists (and arrangers) do it all the time- why not us? :cool:

Jan-17-2005, 10:28am
John, what do you mean by a "valid" C dominant sound? And why would it make sense to call Bb/C/Dm static? I would guess it has to do with the common c and f naturals in those chords, but I'm learning slowly over here...


Peter Hackman
Jan-18-2005, 1:11am
John, what do you mean by a "valid" C dominant sound? And why would it make sense to call Bb/C/Dm static? I would guess it has to do with the common c and f naturals in those chords, but I'm learning slowly over here...

The only answer is listen, try it. The Bflat over
C, also known as C11, acts very naturally as a
dominant chord leading to F major - and, when it doesn't,
when it just sits there,
it yields that "unfinished" modal feel.

Triads in parallell don't convey the feeling
of driving inevitability as, say, a circle of fifths.
In this particular case, the harmonic movement in the
horns is more like a pendulum.

But, of course, this is very subjective.

Jan-18-2005, 10:32am
That's starting to make some sense, thanks. What do you mean by triads in parallell? Just the whole-step moves Bb, C, D? I'm just starting to learn about harmony in this sense, and I think part of why I like those types of changes so much is the open feeling that they lend to a song. Instead of feeling like I've played a set of changes in eight or twelve bars, and cycle it over the whole tune, I can better stretch out as a rhythm player without the IV/V/I cadence coming around every chorus... I suppose if I better understood this stuff, I'd be able to play substitutions a lot better...


Jan-19-2005, 1:14pm
Taboot- so, remember the C in the bass is what is static- those triads are moving, so you get a sense of motion, but the OVERALL harmony still falls under the C7 chord symbol. When you listen to a good jazz pianist, you hear much more going on than "just the chord symbol" of the moment.

That's Bb, C, D MINOR not D- notice how that's the IV, V and Vi chords of the home key of F?

Bb D F

Now, if you think of the function of each note of each triad against the C bass note, you'll see how this modal harmony stuff works:

b7 9 11
1 3 5
9 11 13

If you have a piano or even a guitar, it'll be easier to hear. On the mando, keep a C in the bass, try:


The last one is awkward, and the voicings used by Miles, Cannonball and Coltarne on the original are voiced in a different inversion, but this'll give you an idea...

Jan-19-2005, 6:46pm
Wow! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif I got lost a while ago but it has been great reading. I'm tryin the chords but it just doesnt sound right. I'll kep bangin on the thing and see what happens. This has been a great education. My rpinter is going to get a work out. I'll get back to you guys in a couple of years when I figure out what you folks were saying. Play on!!

Jan-20-2005, 10:16am
Thanks for the further detail, though I was already hip to the f/f# difference in the D/Dm, and neglected to type it in... If I keep getting answers like that one though, I might just keep neglecting to fill in the details when I post. Just to clarify, you're suggesting splitting the E string in that last inversion? Appreciate the illustrations...


Jan-20-2005, 1:05pm
not split; actually 10th fret.

The actual inversions (or pretty close as I'm working from memory) used by Miles/Trane/Ball on mando with Paul Chambers on the bass :

CDBbF 5011
CECG 5233
CFDA 5355