The sound world of Fusion is greatly different to that of earlier jazz pieces. As technology improved and rock prevailed as a music of great popularity, jazz musicians began to borrow from that world. It is unsurprising that at the opening of Shh/Peaceful we hear an organ, electric guitar, an electric bass and a synthesised electric piano sound, all instruments common to the rock genre. Despite these tone colours, the music is undoubtedly jazz.

If the timbral world is rock, the pitch world is Jazz. We hear jazz scales (with a lot of chromatic movement) and jazz progressions outlined all pitch making instruments. The most prominent of these is the D13 chord arpeggiated by the synthesiser after the 1:30 intro is completed. The solo that follows is most certainly idiomatically jazz. We hear improvisation, syncopation, flattened thirds and interplay with a jazz chord progression.

Rhythmically, a lot of what we hear is derived from the funk world. The driving quaver, two semiquaver hi hat rhythm is our first indication of this. We also hear the simple 5-1 bass line rather than a walking bass. This is juxtaposed against the syncopated rhythmic world of the solo trumpet to create the multifaceted sound world of fusion that helps maintain our interest in the piece.

Miles Davis – Shh/Peaceful – Spotify

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