Miles Davis: Shhh / Peaceful


Shhh / Peaceful


Miles Davis (trumpet)


In a Silent Way (Columbia CK 40580)

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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)


Composed by Miles Davis


Recorded: New York, February 1969


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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