473

Miles Davis: The Complete In a Silent Way Sessions

By

Sign in to view read count
Miles Davis was an innovator from the moment he first picked up the trumpet. But for years, the public didn't have a clear enough picture of Davis' journey from jazz into the rock/funk sounds of James Brown and Jimi Hendrix as well as his use of electric instruments.

At the time, all the public knew of was the funk groove and electric piano sounds of "Stuff" from Miles in the Sky, followed by more electric sounds on Filles de Kilimanjaro, leading to In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew. Some songs recorded during this time had been shelved until years later.

Now, Columbia/Legacy has released The Complete In a Silent Way Sessions, an impressive three-disc set that brings Davis' new direction into focus. The collection includes several unreleased tracks recorded from September 1968-February 1969.

Kicking off with two songs that ended up on Filles de Kilimanjaro, the box set chronicles the demise of 1960s quintet of saxophonist Wayne Shorter, pianist Herbie Hancock, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Tony Williams, leading to an expanded line-up of Shorter, Hancock, Williams, Chick Corea on electric piano, Joe Zawinul on electric organ, Dave Holland on bass, and (on separate tracks) Jack DeJohnette and Joe Chambers on drums.

Reissue co-producer Bob Belden provides exhaustive liner notes describing Davis' transitional period into jazz/rock, including a helpful guide to the three songs that were heavily edited by producer Teo Macero for the In a Silent Way album.

The album version of "Shhh/Peaceful" is heavily chopped, placing a Davis solo heard at the end of the first version near the beginning, then repeating it note for note at the end. Some of the edits aren't that subtle, either.

After hearing the unissued version, one wonders why that wasn't used. But, through Macero's tinkering, he created a sonata form: state the melody (Davis' solo), expand on it, then restate the melody. Macero also makes a sonata form for "In a Silent Way/It's About That Time" (book-ending the rock-laced "It's About That Time" with the ethereal "In a Silent Way," which also appears as a rehearsal take with Williams providing a bossa beat).

"The Ghetto Walk," a previously unreleased tune, is a precursor to what Davis would employ on Bitches Brew : a song (clocking in at more than 20 minutes) revolved around a simple bass riff while the other musicians jammed with no set structure.

From the driving rock force of "Directions" to the Hendrix-influenced "Mademoiselle Mabry" and the shimmering elegance of "Ascent," Davis and company were heading into the uncharted waters of music. They may have been looked upon with confused eyes when In a Silent Way was released, but the passage of time sheds a better light on their work.

Track List:Disc One: Mademoiselle Mabry; Frelon Brun; Two Faced; Dual Mr. Anthony Tillmon Williams Process; Splash; Splashdown; Disc Two: Ascent; Directions I; Directions II; Shhh/Peaceful; In a Silent Way (rehearsal); In a Silent Way; It's About That Time; Disc Three: The Ghetto Walk; Early Minor; Shhh/Peaceful (LP version); In a Silent Way/It's About That Time (a. In a Silent Way, b. It's About That Time, c. In a Silent Way) (LP version)

Personnel: Miles Davis, trumpet; Wayne Shorter, tenor and soprano sax; Chick Corea, electric piano; Herbie Hancock, electric piano; Joe Zawinul, electric piano and organ; Dave Holland, bass; Tony Williams, drums; Jack DeJohnette, drums, tambourine; Teo Macero, tambourine; John McLaughlin, electric guitar; Joe Chambers, drums.


Reprinted with permission of The Villages Daily Sun, Lady Lake, Fla.

| Record Label: Columbia Records | Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock


Shop

More Articles

Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Checkpoint" CD/LP/Track Review Checkpoint
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 16, 2016
Read "The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture" CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Arclight" CD/LP/Track Review Arclight
by Troy Collins
Published: March 4, 2016
Read "Marianne" CD/LP/Track Review Marianne
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 28, 2016
Read "Vyamanikal" CD/LP/Track Review Vyamanikal
by Duncan Heining
Published: July 17, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!