MILES DAVIS The Complete In A Silent Way Sessions (2001)

The Complete In A Silent Way Sessions (2001)
#5 of 8

Man, what a revelation. 1969’s In A Silent Way was yet another jazz re-evaluation for Miles Davis. With this LP, Davis fully completed his transformation from acoustic to electric jazz, which slowly began a few years prior. With players like Joe Zawinul and John McLaughlin, Davis and crew essentially cemented the concept of jazz fusion, which Zawinul would later take to new heights via Weather Report (with Wayne Shorter, also here). All due credit to Frank Zappa, as you can hear three-plus minutes into “Directions I” (below), as Miles morphs into an old Mothers concert. In A Silent Way also paved the way for new directions in jazz post-production, as Davis and producer Teo Macero would cut and paste much of this album together, pulling new moods and atmospheres from the original sessions’ jams. Which, upon hearing the differences, makes this 3CD collection all the more unbelievable. The pair would further explore the concept with Bitches Brew the following year. As for the music, Thom Jurek wrote a review that draws attention to some of the nuance found in this material. For purists, the original album (2 heavily edited side-long tracks) is included at the end of disc 3. As with all of Davis’ work in the 70s, material recorded during these sessions would be used for future albums (most re-manipulated in some silent way), including Water Babies, Circle In The Round & Directions, and there’s still plenty of previously unreleased material here. Davis’ ongoing breeding ground for relatively young blood includes Tony Williams, Chick Corea, Dave Holland, Herbie Hancock, Jack DeJohnette, Joe Chambers and the aforementioned Zawinul & Shorter. This is the smallest of the eight Miles box sets in this series (3 discs) and the only one that didn’t come with an elaborate metal spine (at least mine didn’t). In 2004, this set was re-issued in a more conventional long box format, which you can find at Amazon.

Mademoiselle Mabry (16:37)
Frelon Brun (5:40)
Two Faced (18:04)
Dual Mr. Anthony Tillmon Williams Process (13:23)
Splash (10:08)
Splashdown (8:03)

Ascent (14:55)
Directions I (6:51)
Directions II (4:54)
Shhh / Peaceful (19:18)
In A Silent Way (Rehearsal) (5:27)
In A Silent Way (4:18)
It’s About That Time (11:28)

The Ghetto Walk (26:50)
Early Minor (6:59)
Shhh/Peaceful [LP Version] (18:18)
In A Silent Way/It’s About That Time [LP Version] (19:53)


  • Willard
    March 13, 2012 - 16:16 | Permalink

    Search HERE

  • Joe
    March 13, 2012 - 16:49 | Permalink

    This is so great. Such a great album. Thanks!

  • Balzac
    March 14, 2012 - 03:30 | Permalink

    If I could only have 3 Miles records this would be one of them. I’d cheat and take this complete session set though. (I have that clunkily packaged CD version) (The 2 others would be Sketches of Spain and the Elevator To The Gallows soundtrack) Excellent stuff as always Willard.

    • Willard
      March 14, 2012 - 08:31 | Permalink

      Miles is like the Beatles to me, it’s almost impossible to pick favorites. I’m a Kind Of Blue and Ascenseur Pour L’Echafaud (Elevator To The Gallows) type, but In A Silent Way is right up there. Unfortunately, I LOVE Miles’ noisy electric stuff, too, so Jack Johnson, Bitches Brew and all that aimless 70s stuff is equally appealing to me. Thanks for chiming in.

  • March 14, 2012 - 14:37 | Permalink

    Really nice one, Thanks. This was one of the albums that my dad always played! It is permanently etched in my mind. Besides, it is a great album.

    • Willard
      March 14, 2012 - 14:43 | Permalink

      Thanks for making a lot of us feel older CR. I sent you an email a month ago, did you get it?

  • Jerry Lee
    March 15, 2012 - 19:49 | Permalink

    Thanks Willard. Thanks for using MediaFire too, hope they stay up.

  • ate2zee
    March 15, 2012 - 23:10 | Permalink

    Willard–I’m loving all your recent Miles Davis posts. Thanks for all of them. I don’t take this or your site for granted, especially today when I discovered that a member of your sidebar My Blogrolls has vanished. Your musical website is making the world go round. May it continue.

    • Willard
      March 16, 2012 - 01:47 | Permalink

      Thanks. Who vanished?

  • ate2zee
    March 16, 2012 - 04:21 | Permalink

    “Know Your Conjurer” and “Garage Punk 66”–just happened to discover they’re gone, but that’s all I know about it. “Seriously” reports changes coming March 20.

  • Colin H
    March 16, 2012 - 20:09 | Permalink

    It’s nice to be told what constituted the original album as I have to admit I am new to Miles as a whole, beyond what was included on the single disc Ken Burns overview I bought 10 years back. I have never heard the orginal albums, and that may be a better entry point for me than 3 to 6 discs of sessions. We’ll see…

    • Willard
      March 16, 2012 - 23:20 | Permalink

      Unfortunately, the liners are kind of essential on these sets. There was a lot of cut and paste and these session boxes are mostly the uncut originals. Since getting these boxes, I haven’t been able to go back to the original albums.

  • Brian
    March 19, 2012 - 21:24 | Permalink

    Yes, listening while reading the booklet is great for these sets. I have a couple. Thanks for your efforts.

    Love that Cellar Door Box. Hope that is in the pipeline. John Mc going crazy on that one.

    Thanks again!

  • March 22, 2012 - 07:20 | Permalink


    Did not get your email, sorry

  • I-)
    November 26, 2012 - 11:24 | Permalink

    would you (could you?) put up the ‘elevator to the gallows’ soundtrack?


    • Willard
      November 26, 2012 - 13:33 | Permalink

      You can find Ascenseur pour l’Échafaud (Lift To The Scaffold) over HERE.

  • Supersonic75
    January 23, 2015 - 20:06 | Permalink

    I feel a strong Miles jag coming on….thanks for these great boxes!

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