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Miles Davis - In a Silent Way CD (album) cover

IN A SILENT WAY

Miles Davis

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.39 | 411 ratings

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Vinyl Connection
5 stars Josef Zawinul wrote the melody 'In a silent way' after visiting his Austrian family for Christmas. The tune became the title for a 1969 album that indicated perhaps the most far-reaching change of direction for that most restless of musicians, Miles Davis. Here we find not one but three fecund keyboard players (Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Jo Zawinul), the introduction of guitarist John McLaughlin, a bright young percussion star in drummer Tony Williams and probably the most daring use of studio editing on a jazz album ever. Much has been written about the successor to this LP - the sprawling double album Bitches Brew which was released a mere seven months later - but that will not concern us here. We will only note that the brouhaha around that album often overshadows the brilliance of vision embodied in 'In a silent way'. The playing is exemplary throughout. According to Chick Corea, the fact that tapes were running constantly relaxed the musicians and 'made' the quiet atmosphere that pervades the music. The music itself is warm, spacious and indeed 'Peaceful'; lovers of electric piano will have much to savour here. The way Teo Macero edits the sections together was startling to some listeners at the time, one critic complaining that he had erroneously re-used one section. But it is this editing which gives 'In a silent way' its magic and power. With its two side-long pieces, its repetition, its relentless soothing groove, its spacey keyboards and floating trumpet and reed solos, this is a profoundly important and influential album. Don't worry if 'Bitches Brew' horrifies you and 'Kind of Blue' is just too jazz, if you are a lover of progressive music, this is the Miles album you need (other than Jack Johnson, but that's another story). www.vinylconnection.com.au
Vinyl Connection | 5/5 |

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