Oleo is one of the most important jazz standards. The changes from Oleo are considered “rhythm changes” because they are based on the changes to the 32 bar shortened version of “I Got Rhythm.” (The original version of “I Got Rhythm has an extra 2 bar tag in the last A section, making the form 34 bars instead of 32).
Oleo is arguably the most common Rhythm Changes tune, and so studying Miles’ solo is very valuable. YOU MUST LISTEN TO THE MILES SOLO when you learn it! Don’t just read it without listening! Jazz is an aural music, and while it’s helpful to read transcriptions, it’s even more valuable to transcribe solos on your own! You will also want to do some analysis of how Miles approaches the changes, harmonically and melodically. You can use the sheet music to help you, but you HAVE to listen to the actual solo to understand Miles’ articulations, ghosted notes, inflections, etc. We have included the YouTube video of Miles’ recording of Oleo from the album “Bag’s Groove” to help you study and learn the solo.
PDF Miles Davis solo transcription of Oleo