Miles Davis: In a Silent Way / It's About That Time


In a Silent Way / It's About That Time


Miles Davis (trumpet)


In a Silent Way (Columbia CK 40580)

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Miles Davis (trumpet), John McLaughlin (electric guitar),

Wayne Shorter (tenor sax), Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea (electric pianos), Josef Zawinul (electric piano and organ), Dave Holland (bass), Tony Williams (drums)


“In a Silent Way” composed by Josef Zawinul. “It’s About That Time” composed by Miles Davis


Recorded: New York, February 1969


Rating: 100/100 (learn more)

Josef Zawinul's composition "In a Silent Way" is a remarkably beautiful piece of music. The initial shock and disdain felt by many Miles Davis fans back in the day has certainly faded away to such a degree that the structure of the piece can now be admired. This is despite whatever musical directions it may have spawned, good or bad. Much of its strange charm is the result of post-recording engineering, as it is full of abrupt edits. Yet however abrupt, these edits are never jarring. Davis and McLaughlin establish the subtle theme and play wonderfully off each other. Don't expect any swing here. The tune is laid-back and spatial in nature. No player takes more than his turn. In fact, Miles is noticeably absent for much of the affair. "It's About That Time," which is dropped in, is more electric and a slow-burn groove before it culminates in a rave-up. The tranquil, almost meditative theme reappears with McLaughlin, Shorter and Davis playing the definition of languid. This is a very important but still overlooked recording milestone.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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