Michael Fremer Rated 10/10 Music, 8/10 Sonics in his August 2013 reviews on www.analogplanet.com!
Miles Davis In a Silent Way on Numbered Limited Edition 180g LP from Mobile Fidelity! Pressed at RTI!
Delicate, Immersing, Dynamic: Mobile Fidelity Reissue Magnifies the Bold Textures, Soothing Ambience, and Transcendent Moods!
Float Into the Ether: Gorgeous 1969 Experimental Treasure Among the Most Atmospheric Jazz Albums Ever Recorded. Davis’ First Fusion Album Features John McLaughlin, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Joe Zawinul, Wayne Shorter, Dave Holland, and Tony Williams.
Shhh. The command to be quiet is no just part of the title of one of the two
sprawling compositions on this pioneering album. It’s also an apt metaphor for
the relaxed hypnotism and spaced-out atmosphere that define In a Silent
Way, a record that pushes the boundaries of studio possibilities,
artist-producer relationships, and rock-jazz chasms. Recognized as Miles
Davis’ first full-on fusion effort and part of his “electric” era, the 1969
landmark claims a Who’s Who lineup that sends the music into an ethereal
Part of Mobile Fidelity’s Miles Davis catalog restoration series, In a Silent
Way now immerses the listener in lineolate landscapes starlit by the intuition,
suspension, and paradoxes wrought by a once-in-a-lifetime collective. Half-speed
mastered from the original master tapes and pressed at RTI, this unsurpassed
180g LP edition lifts the veil on the cutting-edge assembly process that created
the pair of lengthy suites. Helmed by three electric instruments, the beveled
compositions melt away all preconceived notions of “jazz,” ‘rock,” and
“ambience,” following a loose theory Davis dubbed “New Directions.”
Few albums are so delicately textured. And on Mobile Fidelity’s meticulous
analog reissue, such sulcate elements pour over ink-black backgrounds on a
canyon-wide soundstage. In particular, Tony Williams’ inventive
percussive touch—he causes the cymbals to shimmer as a pieces of silver tend to
do when exposed to sunlight—is broadcast with lifelike three-dimensional
qualities, the panoramic view extending to Davis’ nocturnal trumpet,
Wayne Shorter’s ribbon-unfurling saxophone, Dave Holland’s
extrapolative bass, and the mosaic of keys.
If the record’s only accomplishment is its introduction of guitarist John
McLaughlin to the world, it alone would be enough. Yet In a Silent Way
continues to bedazzle, puzzle, and inspire for myriad reasons—not the least of
which is the seemingly telepathic communicative methods employed by the group’s
members. The lineup is great on paper, but, if it’s even possible, the octet
sounds even better in practice, with the instruments and tonalities conjoining
in avant-garde communion like hyper-sensitive tentacles exploring the stippled
landscapes of an undiscovered planet.
Diverting from expectation, tubular grooves twist, turn, and spin, sometimes
piling atop of each other, always shying away from structure and melody.
Ellipsoidal solos provide hesitant guidance, ranging from Chick Corea’s
Fender Rhodes phrases to Davis’ decorative spirals. And as color is
the primary unit of currency on Davis’ Sketches of Spain, laidback episodes,
geometric spaces, and quiet sensuality reign here, with the set’s maverick
reputation attained via musings on solitude rather than explosions of noise.
Controversial for the period, the heavily edited production of In a Silent
Way blew open the once-locked doors on what producer’s could attempt—and
how artists could assist them. Knitted together as one would construct a
cross-hatched quilt, songs contain grafts of repeat passages that provide
unifying structure and experimental continuity. What a statement.
"[T]he better RTI pressing quality puts everything in greater three-dimensional relief, helping to create an even more intense 'day-glo' effect than does the original. I draw that conclusion after comparing this to two early originals and a Japanese Sony pressing... [T]his would be among my 100 essential reissues, were I to put together such a list... [I]t is a genre-defining classic." - Michael Fremer, analogplanet.com, 10/10 Music, 8/10 Sound
Get your lowest-numbered copy of this masterwork from Elusive Disc
Also Available from Miles Davis on 180g Mobile Fidelity Vinyl:
Miles Davis - 'Round About Midnight (MFSL 1-373)
Miles Davis - Milestones (MFSL 1-374)
Miles Davis - Sketches Of Spain (MFSL 1-375)
Miles Davis - Four & More (MFSL 1-376)
Miles Davis - Kind Of Blue (MFSL 2-45011)
• Numbered, Limited Edition
• Half-Speed Production and Mastering by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab
• Specially Plated and Pressed on 180 grams of High Definition Vinyl
• Special Static Free - Dust Free Inner Sleeve
• Heavy Duty Protective Packaging
• Mastered from the Original Master Tapes by Krieg Wunderlich
• Pressed at RTI
Miles Davis, trumpet
Wayne Shorter, soprano sax
John McLaughlin, electric guitar
Chick Corea, electric piano
Herbie Hancock, electric piano
Joe Zawinul, organ
Dave Holland, bass
Tony Williams, drums
3. In a Silent Way
4. It’s About That Time