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 ·
This was the album where Jazz Fusion was born. Miles last album Filles de Kilimanjaro was transitional where really the classic quintet of Herbie Hancock,Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter and with the superb young drummer Tony Williams was their last recording. The Jazz Purists were horrified and all the young crowd thought fabulous. This was where Miles left the live club scene and after this album played stadiums with rock bands as diverse as Steve Miller to Crosby,Stills,Nash and Young.This is a complete transition to what Miles was playing previously and basically he left the bop scene behind to never return. He stated that he was sick of playing "My Funny Valentine" and wanted new directions to follow. Every musician who particapated in this recording has gone on to form their own fusion bands. Everyone of them is renowned as pioneers in Jazz Fusion. Bands such as Weather Report, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return To Forever, Lifetime, Dave Holland and the Herbie Hancocks albums. I could go on forever about the band members careers in Jazz . This would have to be one of the most talented Jazz bands of this calibre ever assembled.

The first track is by far my favourite on the album Shh/Peaceful. The track starts with a wash of key boards and then Miles comes in for his solo. John McLauglin is superb and provides a wonderful interplay throughout and when his solo follows which really is low key and restrained showing that a great guitarist does not overplay providing space and yes silence with spacing between every chord that he seems to strum.Wayne Shorter is next up and as usual superb with his solo. He really is one of the greats and for me is up there with the "Hawk"( Coleman Hawkins),Sonny Rollins,and with almost the power of John Coltrane. Spacing and placing would be a good term to describe his solo in this piece. Miles finishes of proceedings with another beautiful solo at the end bringing the tune back. This is a wonderful Jazz album and would have to be my most liked Fusion album.

The second track In a Silent Way / It's About Time starts with John McLauglin's guitar over a keyboard (Fender) Miles loved the sound and Miles comes in for beautiful low key solo which slowly builds pitch. This track is basically 2 pieces with the quieter section at the beginning and end where Miles plays in both with that beautiful tone that he had. The middle comprises more uptempo where respective muscians take solos as in most jazz formats.The composition finishes off the first piece played at the begining.

Masterpiece in fusion and with Bitches Brew to follow jazz had changed and Miles was leading the pack as always. When I last reviewed this album I only gave it 4 stars but even though I have been listening for near on 20 years it has taken me that long to realise 5 stars and nothing less. Shortness in time was the always the issue not the music.A loved album and one that I will always be playing till the last breath.
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