Fifty Years Of In A Silent Way

Tiggerlion on In A Silent Way by Miles Davis

Fifty years ago today, Miles Davis unleashed a quiet storm. In A Silent Way is unique in the world of popular music and jazz. It calmly and clear-sightedly surrenders the old ways of acoustic instruments and small groups captured in whole takes and warmly embraces the new, the hum of electricity and the role of producer as contributory artist, cutting and splicing away. It consists of two vinyl-side long pieces that seem to float, beautiful and ethereal, only bursting with colour for a brief moment in the final third of side two. It challenges the very definition of Jazz, raising questions of authenticity and its relationship with technology and a wider Rock audience. The final product sounds as futuristic today as it did fifty years ago. It is Miles Davis reinventing modern music once again.

Legend has it that In A Silent Way, like Kind Of Blue ten years earlier, was recorded on a single day, that day being 18th February 1969. The story goes that Davis, the wizard alchemist, brought together a group of musicians and, with no clear instructions or guidance, coaxed a masterpiece out of them. The truth … Continue reading Fifty Years Of In A Silent Way