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Recorded: 2/18/69

Charted: September 6, 1969

Rating: 4.455 (average of 11 ratings)

Genre: jazz fusion

Quotable: --

Album Tracks:

  1. Shhh/ Peaceful
    a. Shhh
    b. Peaceful
    c. Shhh
  2. In a Silent Way/ It’s About That Time
    a. In a Silent Way
    b. It’s About That Time
    c. In a Silent Way


sales in U.S. only --
sales in U.K. only - estimated --
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated --


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart 134
peak on U.K. album chart --

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • none

Notes: “In 2001, Columbia Legacy/Sony Music released The Complete In a Silent Way Sessions, a three-disc box set which included the unedited recordings used to produce the original album, In a Silent Way as originally edited, and additional tracks” (


Rated one of the top 1000 albums of all time by Dave’s Music Database. Click to learn more.

In a Silent Way
Miles Davis
“Although previous Davis records and live performances had already begun the shift to jazz fusion, In a Silent Way featured a full-blown electric approach. For this and other reasons, it is usually regarded as the first of his fusion recordings” ( “Legendary as a kind of line in the sand challenging jazz fans during the ascendance of electric, psychedelic rock, In a Silent Way hinted at the repetitive polyrhythms Davis would employ throughout the early 1970s. It also partook generously of electric piano and bass and rekindled the tonal palette that Davis had explored famously with Kind of Blue. But In a Silent Way remains a clearly electric jazz record, part ambient color exploration, part rock-inflected energy and vibe, and part outright maverick creativity. Davis takes many long, breathy solos, and they glisten in a burnished blue against his new group's strange admixture of musical moods” (Bartlett).

“It is also the first recording by Davis that was largely constructed by the editing and arrangement of producer Teo Macero. Macero’s editing techniques are said to have incorporated elements of classical sonata form in Davis’ recordings for In a Silent Way. Both of the extended tracks on the album consist of three distinct parts that could be thought of as an exposition, development and recapitulation. The last six minutes of the first track are actually the first six minutes of the same track repeated in exactly the same form. With this "trick" the track took on a more understandable structure” (

“Miles Davis’ famous mid-1960s quintet, featuring saxophonist Wayne Shorter and pianist Herbie Hancock, was intact until just a few weeks before his new, electric ensemble recorded In a Silent Way” (Bartlett).

“The album featured virtuoso guitarist and newcomer John McLaughlin, who had one month prior to the February 18th In a Silent Way session recorded his classic debut album Extrapolation. At the request of Tony Williams, McLaughlin moved in early February from England to the US to play with The Tony Williams Lifetime. Williams brought McLaughlin to Davis’ house the night before the scheduled session for In a Silent Way. Davis had not heard the guitarist before, but was so impressed that he told him to show up at the studio the next day. McLaughlin would go on to great fame in the 1970s as leader of the Mahavishnu Orchestra” (

Review Source(s):

Last updated March 28, 2008.