Miles Davis: In A Silent Way / Shhh / Peaceful / It's About That Time


In A Silent Way/Shhh/Peaceful/It's About That Time


Miles Davis (trumpet)


Panthalassa: The Music of Miles Davis 1969-1974 (Columbia CK 67909)

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Miles Davis (trumpet), Wayne Shorter (tenor sax), John McLaughlin (electric guitar), Herbie Hancock (electric piano), Chick Corea (electric piano), Joe Zawinul (electric piano, organ), Dave Holland (bass), Tony Williams (drums),

Bill Laswell, reconstruction & mix translation (1998)


Composed by Josef Zawinul & Miles Davis


Recorded: New York, February 1969


Rating: 92/100 (learn more)

Make no mistake about it. There is controversy surrounding this recording. What the hell is a "reconstruction & mix translation" anyhow? The perpetrator in this case is the enigma known as Bill Laswell. In project after project, he attempts to turn music on its ear. He always believed that this early fusion from Miles had never been heard properly. I don't know what that really means. But I am not Bill Laswell.

For this medley from In a Silent Way, Laswell decided to go original producer Teo Macero one better. Macero was famous, or infamous if you prefer, for splicing the original tapes together without regard to beginning, middle and end. At any rate, it worked. The original "In a Silent Way" is a beautiful and lasting piece, as I said in my review here.

Laswell thought he could make the music work even better with new technologies and modern technological grace notes. The instruments have a warmer feel to them. Laswell has added some electronica atmospherics. The medley is now only 15 minutes long instead of its original 35. There is a distinct introductory section as beautiful as ever. There is a middle theme and a fulfilling ending. For many of us, those elements were already present in the original recording. But mad scientist Laswell has succeeded in presenting Miles's vision in a more distilled CliffsNotes fashion. Normally, that would be cheating. Here, however, it is enlightening. The nerve of this guy Laswell!

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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