Miles Davis was known for assembling musicians, giving them a stripped-down framework and just letting them create. This worked to jazz perfection 50 years ago when Davis, John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Cannonball Adderley, Jimmy Cobb and Paul Chambers made Kind of Blue. The understated masterpiece is seen by many as the definitive jazz recording and the Big Bang of modal jazz. Drummer Jimmy Cobb, the only living member of that legendary lineup, has brought together trumpeter Wallace Roney, alto saxophonist Vincent Herring, tenor sax man Javon Jackson, pianist Larry Willis and bassist Buster Williams to form the So What band — named for the signature tune from Kind of Blue. The group stops in Kansas City, on its nationwide 50th-anniversary tour, tonight at 8 at the Gem Theater (1616 East 18th Street, 816-474-8463). Tickets at the door cost $40.
Sat., Oct. 17, 8 p.m., 2009