“In A Silent Way” by Miles Davis - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1969Album Chart of the Decade: 1960s1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die external-link.png

TJR says

Miles goes electric! It’s a Jazz World stooshie to rival Dylan. From time to time these mega-talented giants of Jazz come up with something interesting that chimes with Rebel sensibilities. In 1969, Miles Davis delivered one such body of work. Creating the dish in this Michelin Star kitchen were: Miles Davis (trumpet); Wayne Shorter (soprano saxophone); John McLaughlin (electric guitar); Chick Corea (electric piano); Herbie Hancock (electric piano); Joe Zawinul (organ); Dave Holland (double bass) and Tony Williams (drums). “Shhh / Peaceful” accounts for the entirety of side 1, and shakes and shimmers for eighteen whole minutes, as if on the verge of a lunar landing which is eventually aborted. It’s an enjoyable starter, albeit leaving a hunger unsatisfied. More fulfilling is “In A Silent Way / It’s About That Time / In A Silent Way”, a 20-minute 3-part suite which runs for the duration of side 2, although I completely fail to grasp why these pieces are framed in this way. “In A Silent Way” is glorious; a transcendental meditation with gorgeous melody. The sandwich filler “It’s About That Time” flirts coolly with funky motifs, although these seem to have nothing at all in common with their sleeping partners who lie either side, thus demoting the piece from a potential “excellent” to merely “great” in my fussy ratings system. The linkage between them is completely clumsy – like the worst DJ mix ever. Why can’t these hounds just content themselves with 6 or 7 proper tracks like their rock n roll superiors?

The Jukebox Rebel

A [18:16] 6.2.png Miles Davis - Shhh / Peaceful (Miles Davis) Jazz
B [19:52] 7.7.png Miles Davis - In A Silent Way / It’s About That Time / In A Silent Way (Miles Davis, Joe Zawinul) Jazz

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