John McLaughlin and Chick Corea: In A Silent Way / It's About That Time


In A Silent Way/It’s About That Time


John McLaughlin (guitar) and Chick Corea (piano, keyboards)


Five Peace Band (Concord CRE-31397-02)

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John McLaughlin (guitar), Chick Corea (piano, keyboards), Kenny Garrett (saxophone), Christian McBride (bass), Vinnie Colaiuta (drums), Herbie Hancock (piano).

Composed by Josef Zawinul and Miles Davis


Recorded: Fall 2008


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

Here’s a recent, live all-star recreation of the entire backside of Miles Davis’ classic early fusion platter, In A Silent Way. For Joe Zawinul’s sublimely pretty melody, McLaughlin sensitively renders it as he did in the original, with Corea gently coaxing cozy accents from his electronic keyboards.

The temporary addition of Hancock to the Five Peace Band for this number is notable, as it’s the first time he, Corea and McLaughlin have played “In A Silent Way” together since they recorded the song with Miles back in January, 1969. The magic of the moment isn’t just rooted in symbolism: Hancock came as an equal participant. While McLaughlin muses over the theme, his attentive comping reads the guitarist’s mind like a book, and even leads the co-leaders into a brief, impromptu dark passage before McLaughlin signals the band to the “It’s About That Time” segment with that signature three-note vamp. Not long after that, the entire band is padlocked into the song’s solid rock groove while Hancock launches into one of his more spirited acoustic piano solos in recent memory. McLaughlin and Garrett make their own blue-ribbon statements later on, but Herbie had already stolen the show.

Rock-jazz these days has got nothing on this.

Reviewer: S. Victor Aaron

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