Music, Silence, and Miles Davis


I think the perfect music is probably silence and, as musicians, all [we] really do is create a rather beautiful and ornate frame for that perfection that is… silence. And some of my favorite artists really use silence very carefully and very artistically. Miles Davis, for example, knew the value and the measure of not playing. So what he didn’t play was as eloquent as what he did play.


You can catch the interview (on Charlie Rose) from which this quote was taken here.

And speaking of Miles Davis, here’s part of a performance in 1963, with his incredible quintet featuring pianist Herbie Hancock, saxophonist Wayne Shorter, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Tony Williams (with whom I was lucky enough to work for a few weeks in 1976).