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  Columbia -
  CS 86556
  Miles Davis: In A Silent Way
  "In A Silent Way"

Miles Davis
Wayne Shorter (tenor and soprano saxophones)
Joe Zawinul, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea (piano, organ)
John McLaughlin (guitar)
Dave Holland (bass)
Tony Williams (drums)
Track listing:
  1. Shhh/Peaceful
2. In a Silent Way/It's About That Time
  Single Layer
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Reviews: 10 show all

Review by vonwegen September 11, 2003 (7 of 7 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
My first & favorite Miles Davis album, this is great for driving. Too bad Sony or Philips isn't curently developing any SACD surround car systems at the moment.

One note: there are apparently two different versions of this SACD, both with identical 5.1 mixes (which sound great, BTW, especially the 3 keyboards and their sonic positions)--but with different stereo mixes. Most review copies sent to magazines had the re-mixed stereo mix done by Bob Weldon & Mark Wilder when the CD version was issued several months ago.

My copy has the original stereo mix from the vinyl issue--you can hear how the multiple splices Teo Macero & Miles did have deteriorated in sonic quality--one splice in particular, at 10:42 into Shh/Peaceful, is particularly noticeable because the mixdown tape has a big drop-out due to tape crinkle.
Also the closing fadeouts at the end of both sides of vinyl are obviously much cruder and quite abrupt because the faders on the mixing board at Columbia Studios were not nearly as sensitive as the ones in use today--vinyl of course covered that up because most people didn't have the equipment to reveal such sonic 'problems'.

It's actually quite fun to compare the old stereo mix with the 5.1 one--shows how much DSD technology has brought us.

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Review by Jijagua May 13, 2011 (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
Extraordinary - in multi-channel SACD. I'll get to that later.

The stereo sound was very good, with each instrument clearly located from left to right. There was some hiss due to the age of the recording, but it become non-consequential when the music started playing. The sound-stage was very wide. I heard details as well as with any of the best recordings I've heard. Every instrument was easy to individually pick out (you could point to it with your eyes closed). The dynamics and clarity were first rate. Each instrument sounded like it really should.

As for the performance, I am putting it close to "Dark Side of the Moon" (which is my favorite album of all time, in all categories combined). Seeing as I've had "In a Silent Way" for two days, I hope to make it easy to understand how strongly I rate this album. The music is wonderful jazz fusion, but not so electro-guitar heavy as his later stuff. This is truly an intermediate album - between earlier relaxed jazz, and the later psychedelically-laden, guitar heavy stuff. It's definitely a relaxed album that seems to flow very nicely. It's not fast, nor is it slow, but some mellow place in between. My only complaint is that this is a short album. Apparently, these Japanese SACD factories are focusing on the album itself and not adding in any bonus content. However, I think they could have bundled this album with another on this one disk.

Now for the multi-channel SACD. I listened through headphones and the experience was extraordinary. Not only did each of the players occupy a certain space from left-to-right, but there was a thickness to each player. Basically, the players surrounded my skull, with each one taking up a 3D space of its own - I'd say the shape was something like a football in my mind. Also, this mellow album seemed to "flow" - sometimes the flow would go from front to back, then side to side, and sometimes static. There was also less hiss than the stereo version. Even the instruments sounded cleaner in the multi-channel version.

At somewhere around $50 a pop, it seems like I am going to have to get every Miles Davis album in SACD multi-channel (if I can). After listening to this album, it is clear how much I've been missing by simply listening to the stereo versions. I should have learned this with Dark Side of the Moon, but it is ever so evident after listening to "In a Silent Way".

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Review by Elliotdurand February 4, 2009 (3 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
I just started to listen to Jazz so I decided to buy this SA-CD and it's like buying a Rolex for your first watch! This is indeed the icon of jazz. This subtle yet full of charcter classic album really makes you love Jazz. The sound is so clear and rich that you wouldn't believe it was recorded in 1959! the channel mix is done in a way that it feels that you are right in the recording studio you can hear an instument on the left speakers another one on the center speaker and another one on the right speakers. Kind Of Blue it's a must have for music lovers no matter what your genre is. This is a great gift for Valentine's Day. I'm looking forward to buying more miles davis SA-CDs!

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