16/12/2018: “In A Silent Way” by Miles Davis

It’s no over-statement to say that Miles Davis is one of the greatest musicians ever to live.

The music he has made over his career spans from Be Bop, to Smooth Jazz,  to Jazz fusion. He touched on many other styles on the way, even Free Jazz.

“In A Silent Way” is indisputably one of his masterpieces, and is viewed as marking his journey into Jazz fusion. It still sounds very much like a conventional enough Jazz record, even if it does use electric instruments (very unusual for Jazz at that time).

The title track of the LP is a meditative jam, and at time sounds suspiciously catchy, which was bound to agitate the Jazz critics of the time. The latter half of the song definitely shows some strong influences from rock.

It’s a groovy, psychedelic 20 minute epic with a killer bass riff, book-ended by two deeply atmospheric electric sections which positively shimmer with a reverb heavy dreaminess.

The song was released on the album of the same name in 1969. What I am referring to as “In A Silent Way” is actually three separate pieces that were recorded together and artificially split up. But it works fantastically as a full song.


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