Miles Davis - The Complete In A Silent Way Sessions
NME.COM feature on Miles Davis - The Complete In A Silent Way Sessions album including album review, artwork, tracks, listen now, tour dates, discography and more.
Release date: 23 October 2001
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Miles Davis - The Complete In A Silent Way Sessions: Wikipedia Album Entry
The Complete In A Silent Way Sessions, released in 2001, is not In A Silent Way, and essentially not to be mistaken as an expanded version of it either. The Complete Sessions release includes versions of elements released on In A Silent Way in 1969, and some discrete pieces not included in the final version of In A Silent Way. Thus this album is a documentary of In A Silent Way, using studio musical recordings only, that allow us to hear the in-studio false starts, erasures, brainstorms, then final touches of what would become the groundbreaking album.
John Ballon from AllAboutJazz.com published on October 27, 2003 about The Complete In A Silent Way Sessions:
"... I had the insane expectation that I was about to hear some unreleased music on par with the original album. Looking back, I don't know how I could even think such a thing was possible. Maybe it's because I vividly imagine a bunch of record label executives huddled together late at night in smoke filled rooms listening to the best music ever while secretly conspiring to keep it eternally locked in the vaults for their own sinister pleasure. But whether or not such theories hold their water, I have come to accept the old single-disc version of In A Silent Way for what it has always been: COMPLETE.
"The full and unedited In A Silent Way session—40 minutes of music recorded on February 18, 1969—attests to the producing genius of Teo Macero. As the raw session tapes remained unreleased for years, their contents were the subject of intense speculation and conjecture. Some claimed that Miles had only taped 27-minutes of music that day, forcing Macero to heavily edit the session in order to fill the space of an album. Others insisted that Macero had overproduced the album, wheedling down a double-album's worth of material to make a single one, denying listeners the complete and unexpurgated brilliance of Miles’ music. With the release of The Complete In A Silent Way Sessions , featuring "all that was committed to tape on that day," these assertions have given way to the truth. Just as Michael Jackson had his Quincy Jones and the Beatles had their George Martin, Miles too had his perfect creative foil in producer Teo Macero. This is made clear when one hears the previously unissued and uncut performances from the February 18 In A Silent Way session. While it is fascinating to hear the music in its organic form, it lacks the focus and power of the edited material found on the album. It took a force like Teo to splice together a cohesive album out of so many inspired pieces. Not only did Teo have the balls to stand up to Miles on creative decisions, he had the right. And Miles knew it.
"For Miles was much more than a great musician, he was a great leader, and one of the hallmarks of great leadership is the ability to share power with those who deserve it. Miles had an almost supernatural ability to sense talent in others. . . . While The Complete In A Silent Way Sessions offers a lot of incredibly great new music to enjoy, the original In A Silent Way has the singular power to transport the listener to heavenly places."
Dominique Leon published the following on November 7, 2001, through Pitchfork.com:
"... Part of the mystique surrounding [In A Silent Way], for me, has always been that it seemed to come out of nowhere, like a beacon of uncanny originality and visionary foresight. Apparently, it did have roots, and while the music will always be some of my favorite from Miles, I can't honestly say that seeing the blueprints for his magic translates to the same sheer joy as did the end results. But, it's still magic music, and it's still Miles. The worst thing you could ever say about a set like this is that it's almost too educational, and of course, that's not really a criticism, is it?
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