MILES DAVIS — In a Silent Way (review)

MILES DAVIS — In a Silent Way album cover Album · 1969 · Fusion Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
Sean Trane
With his quintet out of the way, Miles assembled his new group from the two versions he had present on FDK, Shorter, Hancock & Williams from one part, and Corea & Holland from the other and adding Joe Zawinul on organ and McL on electric guitar.

And right from the first notes you get an organ layers underlining a great electric piano and McL’s superb guitar interventions and the 18-mins+ Shhhhh/Peaceful track is under way for then-unheard musical soundscapes that were both written and improvised. It must be noted that if Miles was breaking ground, he wasn't the only one as he was aware of his buddy Mal Waldren “playing with a bunch of German hippies and doing some interesting shit”.

The flipside is no less interesting with the slower title track divided into three sections, the middle one being a much faster and longer called “it’s about that time”, where Herbie and Chick layer the bottom of the track on electric piano, while Zawinul gradually increase volume on his organ and heads to the forefront, .before leaving it to Miles to wrap it up before the title track returns. So if you were drooling at two keyboardists playing together, this album has three of them and collaborating beautifully together.

The only thing missing to this album is a drawn artwork ala BB or MITS and while the present picture might be the last one featuring him until he came back in the 80’s. Another slight remark is that the albums just before this one (FDK & MITS) were nearing one hour, that you wonder why this one is clocking below the 40 minutes and the remasters presented no bonus tracks, either real or alternate takes. Of course there are the “complete IASW sessions” boxset, but I found that to be deceiving as most of the sessions were acoustic and there were still some FDK tracks included. A first rate album, bringing the rock realm to whomever wanted among jazzers, and the first album that awakened the rock crowd to a jazz realm. Groundbreaking, and breathtaking

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