John McLaughlin spoke recently with JazzTimes about his work and collaborations with Miles Davis, Tony Williams and others. In a conversation about “In A Silent Way,” he said:
Miles wasn’t happy with Joe Zawinul’s tune “In a Silent Way,” which was very strongly harmonic. … So this is when he said, “Play it like you don’t know how to play the guitar.” But what he did, actually, which was very daring of him, which I didn’t realize until later, was that he asked me to give the direction for this tune.
… From that point on I would see Miles frequently. Every time I saw him he’d stuff a $100 bill down my shirt pocket: “Make sure you eat; pay your rent.” … He was a great human being. He was a real mentor to me, musically and humanly. … Miles was an extremely perceptive human being. He was a great artist; he wasn’t just a great musician. I consider him alongside people like Picasso and the great artists of any era. Look at the forms he created, look at the concepts. … To come up with a new concept in music is radical, and he was doing that as early as the ’50s. He was a totally intuitive, instinctive man.
Read more of the interview at JazzTimes.