I know I’m not alone in this, as Miles Davis was not exactly an obscure artist, but I really love Davis’ music. In fact, I like most everything he ever recorded, from bebop to cool jazz to fusion. It may be partly due to the overwhelming popularity of smooth jazz that I get the feeling like I’m alone in my enthusiasm for his work or the fact that I usually listen to albums like Big Fun and In a Silent Way in solitude.
One of the things I like the most about him was how he worked with his sidemen. Although he could have justifiably entered a studio like an untouchable genius, he allowed many of them to contribute a lot to his records. Gerry Mulligan, Gil Evans, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams and Joe Zawinul (to name a few) were all responsible for helping Davis constantly re-shape his sound.
At any rate, I open this week’s show with one of my favorite songs Davis ever recorded, “In a Silent Way,” as recorded later by Zawinul on a solo album. It’s an interesting piece for me, as Zawinul is the composer, and he’ recording it how sees fit. That said, it also becomes clear just how much he brought to Davis’ group, as it does feel very similar to Davis’ version.
Enough with the discussion. You can do your own research on all these guys and probably come to similar conclusions. Enjoy the show.
- “In a Silent Way” – Joe Zawinul (Zawinul/Atlantic/1971)
- “Rendezvous” – Rheingold (Dreiklangs-Dimensionen 45/Electrola/1980)
- “Iles Dans L’espace” – Mandre (Two/Motown/1978)
- “I Just Want to Love You” – Dexter Wansel (Voyager/Philadelphia International/1978)
- “Destiny” – Simple Minds (Life in a Day/PVC/1979)