Complete In a Silent Way Sessions
Remastered, Box Set
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Complete In a Silent Way Sessions
Recorded and released in 1969, In a Silent Way was one of Miles Davis's most mysterious and elusive efforts. That was not only because the album, boasting one long track on each side, was so austerely understated, but also because it stood apart from the music that preceded it, the music the trumpeter was performing in concert, and the revolution that followed--a.k.a. Bitches Brew. Making use of multiple keyboardists--Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea on electric piano and Joe Zawinul on organ--the trumpeter multiplies tones and melody lines and complicates textures. His mold-breaking band, also including Wayne Shorter on soprano saxophone, Tony Williams on drums, and John McLaughlin on guitar, dips into rock and R&B, gospel and classical, electronics and creative editing.
The three-disc, misleadingly titled Complete In a Silent Way Sessions gathers a brace of material recorded during the months leading up to the making of the title classic, when Davis was making the transition from his great acoustic quintet (including Hancock, Shorter, and Williams) to more populous electric units, as well as formalizing his involvement in rock. It includes two songs from Filles de Kilimanjaro that were rudely left off the Miles Davis Quintet 1965-68 box set because they were performed not by the classic quintet but with new members Corea and Dave Holland. Strong subsequent efforts by the revised quintet not released until years later on odds and ends collections. You may drift off while listening to bonus "footage," including rehearsals for Silent Way, but two previously unreleased tunes command attention: the easy and sprawling 27-minute construct, "The Ghetto Walk," which reflects Miles's interest in Jimi Hendrix and James Brown, and "Early Minor," a Zawinul composition warmed by a Spanish sunrise. The extensive notes are informative, and the packaging, as always with the ongoing Davis reissue series, is classy. --Lloyd Sachs
Top customer reviews
My first beef with it is the title. How can it be called "The Complete Sessions" when, after making a point of telling us about some unreleased interludes they fail to include them? A minor quibble yes, but when you tell me Herbie and Chick play some "Sgt. Pepper's" flavored snippets, I want to hear them whether they have anything to do with the rest of the tunes or not. The liner notes are fascinating, but nearly illegible. The combination of the microscopic font and the ridiculous psychodelic background art makes reading it a chore.
But if your a fan of Miles or John McLaughlin you must get this set. You will flip when you hear "The Ghetto Walk."
So why buy the box set instead of the single disc? The included contemporary tracks by this group are charming, displaying subtle nuance that would later be lacking from the more muscular presentations live at the Filmore, etc. And disc 2, with the original manifestations of "directions" and the raw "silent" material, is radiant beyond belief. It's like has never been produced before or since.
If you're just getting your feet wet with Miles, the single album is a great place to start (along with Kind of Blue). For those with a strong appetite for the beginnings of his last great creative burst, the boxed set, with it's excellent annotation, is a satisfying feast.
material think that this part of his musical life is one of many : Magical Moments . Can't wait for the rest of the Deluxe Box Series to be Released . Miles On ...