Miles Davis: Shhh / Peaceful

Track

Shhh / Peaceful

Artist

Miles Davis (trumpet)

CD

In a Silent Way (Columbia CK 40580)

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Musicians:

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

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

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Composed by Miles Davis

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Recorded: New York, February 1969

Albumcovermilesdavis-inasilentway

Rating: 98/100 (learn more)

This side-long LP track gave many longtime Miles Davis fans conniptions. Joe Zawinul's few seconds of solemn organ augers in the early gestation of the jazz-fusion revolution. This music wasn't quite yet the cacophony of the next year's A Tribute to Jack Johnson. In fact, it was quite relaxed compared to the fusion that would be coming. But still, it was a major departure, a sea-change for Davis, whose trumpet enters just after the scene has been set. His playing is devoid of traditional swing. Instead, it is heard in short melodic bursts above a slowly chugging rhythm section. The music seemed to be coming from some far-off universe. Part shuffle, part groove and part spacy, "Shhh/Peaceful" was a coming-out party for fusion's up-and-coming stars. Herbie, Chick, Wayne and Josef were known commodities, but this is where their greatest years of creativity were launched. John McLaughlin, who'd only been in the U.S. a few days when Miles invited him to play, makes his American recording debut here. Whether jazz traditionalists liked it or not, the music was about to change.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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