George Benson on Mile Davis' "So What"

Now, A Jazz Moment?

MUSIC: "So What" (Benson version), CD: The Essential George Benson, Columbia/Legacy 69699 85215 2 (disc 1, cut 9)

George Benson: When I started doing that song I heard it as, you know, a little swing, a little funk, a little half time. And I did that.

MUSIC: up for another phrase

In 1971, NEA Jazz Master George Benson decided to put his own spin on the classic Miles Davis composition "So What."

George Benson: The problem was I bumped into Miles Davis down at a car muffler place and he hollered out from across the street -- his car was already up on the rack and I was waiting for mine to get up on the rack. He was running across the street and he said, "Hey, George." And I said, "Uh oh. He's gonna knock me out because I destroyed his song." And he came over and he said, "Man, I sure liked what you did to my song!" Now, I'm really knocked out by the fact that he loved what I did, you know? Which is better than the knockout I expected, you know? (chuckles) It was really something else!

MUSIC: up and fades

This Jazz Moment with guitarist George Benson was created by the National Endowment for the Arts.

George Benson on Mile Davis' "So What"