Those are really very different recordings. If you liked Kind of Blue, you might want to check out Cannonball Adderley's "Something Else". It's really a Miles album with Adderley given credit as the lead. It's really beautiful, laid back, melodic, etc. and it features Miles.
If you liked In a Silent Way, I'll bet you'd like The Legend of Jack Johnson. It is also electric and has some great guitar by John McLaughlin. Not as quiet as Silent Way but very accessible and enjoyable.
Very simple. If you liked Kind of Blue, you'll love these:
These are all with the Miles Davis Quintet. Serious jazz. The sky is the limit from here, but I just gave you some Miles. The post suggesting Cannonall Adderley's, Something Else is dead on. While on the subject of Cannonball Adderley, try Cannonball Adderley Quintet in Chicago. Your post is going to generate some good stuff. This, here, is some user friendly Miles Davis. Very friendly.
There's a compilation disk on Blue Note called "Blues and Ballads". Very much in the vein of Kind of Blue. I like it a lot.
I second Jack Johnson, it is similar to In a Silent Way, very tasty.
You do not like Sketches of Spain? Give it a few (hundred) more listens. It is the one I was going to recommend and the first thing I thought of at the mention of ambient and Miles.
Chris, check out either "My Funny Valentine" (Live at Lincoln Center), or "4+more" (Live at Lincoln Center) - they have been put together in a 2 cd set as well (If you use such things). Both are from a concert Miles did (one record for each set) for free to raise money for C.O.R.E and the fight for ratial equality in the 60's; and it is one serious show! Increadible soundstage, KOB quality, and the music is SERIOUS! Ballads, up tempo,..... their version of "No Greater Love" is a benchmark. RedTrumpet.com has them on sale for 9.99(the 180grm vinyl version).
Can't really explain it and I know it seems odd, but Sketches just hasn't 'absorbed' me the way that 'Silent' and 'Blue' did. I have noticed that Mark Pendergrast has listed it as his Miles choice to include in his 'Top 100 Ambient Recordings' included in the rear of his book 'The Ambient Century - which I was slightly surprised it got the nod over 'Blue'. Maybe I haven't paired 'Sketches' with the right wine yet. :-)
"Sketches" just doesn't do it for me either. Just to take you in a totally different (but still very interesting) Miles direction, I'd recommend Bitches Brew. I like the mid fifties to early 60's Miles stuff alot, but Bitches Brew is also a great piece of work.
I would reccomend "Get up with it" or "Bitches Brew" a little harder edged than "In a Silent Way" but in my opinion even better.
In my opinion, Sketches, never deserved all of the fanfare it received. The very next Miles record that you should purchase is "Someday My Prince Will Come", It really has the magic sound I think you are after. "Porgy and Bess", is far beter musically than "Sketches" and is worth the price of admission for Miles' brilliant rendition of "Summertime"
For fun, try TUTU. Ambient, electronic, a little funky but very interesting. My gateway drug to the world of audio-I just had to buy those speakers after hearing this! I would also say that Amandla is also worth checking out. Good stuff-miles fifth decade making music!
The closest album musically to Miles "Kind of Blue" period of work is "Ascenseur pour L'echafaud." (Lift to the Scaffold).
It's an obscure move sound track on Fontana label, recorded in 1957 in Paris France. I have it on both LP and CD but cannot tell you if it is still in print.
Well, if enough of us post here, someone is bound to recommend every record the man ever made. (Bitches Brew? Ambient???) My favorite album with his SECOND quintet (Shorter-Hancock-Carter-Williams) is ESP. You might like it too.
My favourite album is "Siesta" which is sort-of derivative of Sketches but with more colours. Tutu, Decoy and Do-Bop are funky electronic albums that are very interesting as well. The greatest masterpiece in his life I think is "Aura".
Someday My Prince Will Come and Something Else by Cannonball Adderley are your choices.
I agree with Bomarc--if this thread goes on long enough, you will be overwhelmed with recommendations. Miles contains multitudes. For example, you could spend the next ten years sampling the seemingly endless series of double-LPs from his fusion period. Dark Magus, Black Beauty, Live Evil, etc. If you like Jack Johnson and/or Bitches Brew, you'd probably enjoy any or all of these.
As far as ambient Miles, I would recommend the fairly recent remix of the Panthalassa album. I can't imagine you wouldn't enjoy it if you like 'In a Silent Way.'
Also, give the 'Live From the Plugged Nickel' a try. It's available as a box set, but you can get a one-CD "best of" to get a good taste of it.
For me, Sketches of Spain, Porgy and Bess, and other albums from that period took some getting used to and were more of an "acquired taste," whereas I loved Sorcerer and Nefertiti immediately.
Bottom line--given your stated preferences, I would recommend the Panthalassa remix first and branch out from there.
If you are looking for an ambient take on Miles then I would recommend the Bill Laswell remix of Miles tunes called Panthalassa however as you would expect it veers into dub at times.
In A Silent Way was as close as Miles got to total ambient music however the double CD of Get Up With It has the epic He Loved Him Madly at 32 minutes plus which is in this vein.
Miles post IASW period got both rockier then funkier and things like On The Corner sound very like a lot of Electronica today-not strictly ambient but a more upbeat relation.
Ascenseur pour L'echafaud which Albert mentioned is indeed still available on CD and is a very great Miles record, a bit bluesier than KOB but similarly melodic.
Has everybody forgotten "'Round Midnight"?
"Miles In the Sky", "Miles Smiles". Check out "On the Corner" if you really want to freak out!
Seems that this is going where Bomarc said it would. The list is growing! Thanks for the responses and keep 'em coming. But I must ask - ALL these are in the same vein as Kind of Blue and In A Silent Way ??? I'd be shocked if that were the case.
Havent heard from one person in particular that I would be interested in hearing his comments.
"Water Babies" would get my vote... confused yet?
I believe that Miles is unique in all his pile of albums and never repeated himself or anyone. He had a talent to translate anything from Mind to Music with his trumpet and that's where his uniqueness to all other musicians and composers stays.
There are "Miles and Miles and Miles of Miles Davis" to discover!
The quoted phrase belongs to Malcolm McLaren in his most brilliant album "Paris"
i disagree with everyone except the person who recommended the concert 'my funny valentine". right off the bat, miles sets a standard of play in the same way he did with kind of blue.
i have the double cd version.
i think everyone here should also get this!! and then they would not be recommending the other stuff.