Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Miles Davis - The Original Mono Recordings (1955-1963)

Over the course of these nine albums, whose principal recording spanned barely a half decade (from June 1956 to March 1961), The Original Mono Recordings presents a clear vision of Miles’ evolution as musician and bandleader, and as a composer graduating from hardbop to modal creations. He was famously signed to Columbia Records by George Avakian in the summer of 1955, after the A&R staff producer witnessed Miles’ showstopping solo on a jam session of “’Round Midnight” at the Newport Jazz Festival. Jazz critics acclaimed the performance as the “return of Miles,” who was considered a difficult artist to work with, who did not even have a regular working group at the time.
Taking Avakian seriously, Miles assembled a group around bassist Paul Chambers and drummer “Philly” Joe Jones, with Red Garland on piano and, after several early contenders (Sonny Rollins, Hank Mobley), Philadelphian John Coltrane on tenor saxophone. This lineup cut four LPs’ worth of material in late ’55 and ’56 to satisfy Miles’ contractual obligations to Prestige Records. They also began to record the first Columbia LP, ’Round About Midnight, named for the paraphrased Monk title tune. The LP, produced by Avakian, consisted of jazz and popular standards done in Miles’ inimitable style.
Most significantly, in terms of The Original Mono Recordings, Myers writes, “the word ‘mono’ did not appear on the cover. Instead, the jacket announced that the music inside was ‘360º Sound, Guaranteed High Fidelity.’ Stereo technology wouldn’t be in place at Columbia until 1958, so there was no need to add the word ‘mono’ to delineate a difference. ‘Mono has always been truer to the studio sound and the original intent,’ said Avakian. ‘Mono featured less audio trickery and fewer audio distractions, so you can actually hear the musical conversation between Miles and the other musicians as it occurred in the studio.’”
For the second album, Avakian realized his intention to feature Miles in the presence of a jazz orchestra : horns, trumpets, trombones, bass trombone, tuba, alto sax, bass clarinet, flutes, and clarinets, along with bassist Chambers and drummer Art Taylor. Most significantly, Miles Ahead by Miles Davis + 19 reunited Miles with his late-1940s Birth of the Cool collaborator, arranger Gil Evans. With the exception of the title track, composed by Miles and Evans, the program again consisted of jazz and popular standards done Miles’ way.
Although the third album, Milestones, was recorded in two productive days of sessions in February and March 1958, it proved to be Avakian’s final LP with Miles. It reintroduced the quintet (Coltrane, Garland, Chambers, Jones) along with a new member from Florida, former schoolteacher Julian “Cannonball” Adderley on alto sax. Some of Miles’ most iconic music is heard on Milestones : the quintet (sextet’s) versions of Jackie McLean’s “Dr. Jekyll,” Dizzy Gillespie’s “Two Bass Hit,” and Monk’s closing “Straight, No Chaser.” At the same time, the album upped the ante of Miles’ originals with two, “Miles” and the 13-minute “Sid’s Ahead,” which hinted at things to come from the inspired young (32-year old) artist.
Two months after the Milestones sessions, the quintet (sextet) was back in the studio for a day of recording with a new Columbia staff producer, Cal Lampley. The session yielded four classics, three of which, due to length, made Side B of Jazz Track : Miles’ original “Fran-Dance,” and two American Songbook standards, “On Green Dolphin Street” and “Stella by Starlight.” (The fourth, “Love for Sale,” running over 11 minutes, is included on Columbia/Legacy’s Kind Of Blue 50th Anniversary sets.) The year before (December 1957), Miles had temporarily disbanded his group and gone to Paris to perform. There he was hired to create a soundtrack for French film director Louis Malle’s suspenseful murder mystery Ascenseur pour l’échafaud (Elevator To the Gallows in the U.S.). Miles and several European jazz musicians improvised the music while seeing the film on a screen. The music, barely 25 minutes, was issued on LP in France in 1958, and was subsequently coupled with the three Lampley tracks on Columbia as the cleverly titled Jazz Track, one of Miles’ most elusive and collectible LPs.
In between, Miles got back together with Gil Evans in July and August 1958, for the jazz orchestral masterpiece, the Gershwins’ Porgy And Bess, the final LP with Lampley. The scene was then set for the March-April 1959 Kind Of Blue sessions, with Columbia's Irving Townsend historically attributed as having overseen the recording, with a slightly revamped quintet (sextet) lineup, as Jones was replaced by Jimmy Cobb on drums, and Garland was replaced on piano by Bill Evans (on “So What,” “Blue In Green,” “All Blues,” and “Flamenco Sketches”) and by Wynton Kelly (“Freddie Freeloader”). The impact of Kind Of Blue, not only on jazz but on popular (even classical) music in general, continues to reverberate. It is part of the Library Of Congress National Recording Registry, it is #12 on the Rolling Stone list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, and it was even honored by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2009, the album’s 50th anniversary.
Kind Of Blue’s closing track, “Flamenco Sketches,” might have hinted at the next project, the jazz orchestral Latin-tinged modal masterwork, Sketches Of Spain, the third of Miles’ collaborations with Gil Evans. Under Columbia’s staff producer Teo Macero (who would remain Miles’ exclusive producer at Columbia through the 1980s), two standards of the Spanish national repertoire, Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez” and de Falla’s Will o’ the Wisp (from “El amor brujo”) were juxtaposed with three Evans originals, “The Pan Piper,” “Saeta” and “Solea.” Myers characterizes the conceptual framework as, “Davis’ piercing, crying solos supported by Evans’ sighing, sophisticated orchestrations that both provoked and mirrored Davis’ lines.”
The quintet lineup was again fine tuned in 1961 for Someday My Prince Will Come, Coltrane’s final Columbia recording with Miles (on the opening title track, from Disney’s Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs, and a Miles original, “Teo”). Tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley actually doubles with Trane on the title track, but has the tenor chair to himself on the other tracks, Miles originals (“Pfrancing,” “Drad-Dog”), and American Songbook staples “Old Folks” and Johnny Mercer’s closing “I Thought About You.”
Though separated in time by five summers, the Newport Jazz Festival performances by Miles’ sextet in 1958 (Adderley, Coltrane, Evans, Chambers, Cobb), and Thelonious Monk’s quartet in 1963, as heard on Miles And Monk At Newport, are remarkably seamless. As Mark Wilder told Myers, “I originally assumed that this album was going to need the most work to capture the original mono sound. After all, the Davis cuts were recorded in 1958, Monk’s in 1963, and both were recorded outdoors. Surprisingly, though, the master tapes were exactly like the original LP pressing and needed no fine-tuning.”

Source : http://www.milesdavis.com/us/news/miles-davis-original-mono-recordings-presents-nine-remastered-original-albums

Miles Davis
The Original Mono


Cd. 1

'Round About Midnight

1 'Round Midnight (Monk, Williams)  5:55
2 Ah-Leu-Cha (Parker)  5:53
3 All of You (Porter)  7:02
4 Bye Bye Blackbird (Dixon, Henderson)  7:57
5 Tadd's Delight (Dameron)  4:28
6 Dear Old Stockholm (Getz)  7:54


Cd. 2

Miles Ahead

1 Springsville (Carisi)  3:24
2 The Maids of Cadiz (Delibes)  4:01
3 The Duke (Brubeck)  3:33
4 My Ship (Weill, Gershwin)  4:20
(from the Broadway Musical, Lady in the Dark)
5 Miles Ahead (Davis, Evans)  3:32
6 Blues for Pablo (Evans)  5:15
7 New Rhumba (Jamal)  4:44
8 The Meaning of the Blues (Troup, Worth)  2:40
9 Lament (Johnson)  2:23
10 I Don't Wanna Be Kissed (By Anybone but You) (Spina, Elliott)  3:04


Cd. 3


1 Dr. Jekyll (McLean)  5:50
2 Sid's Ahead (Davis)  13:07
3 Two Bass Hit (Gillespie, Lewis)  5:15
4 Milestones (Davis)  5:44
5 Billy Boy (trad.)  7:15
6 Straight, No Chaser (Monk)  10:42


Cd. 4

Jazz Track
[Ascenceur pour l'échafaud]

1 Générique  2:45
2 L'Assassinat de Carala  2:07
3 Sur l'autoroute  2:15
4 Julien dans l'ascenseur  2:06
5 Florence sur les Champs-Elysées  2:48
6 Diner au motel  3:54
7 Evasion de Julien  0:49
8 Visite du vigile  2:02
9 Au bar du Petit-Bac  2:51
10 Chez le photographe du motel  3:51

All Compositions by M. Davis

11 On Green Dolphin Street (Kaper, Washington)  9:50
12 Fran-Dance (Davis)  5:50
13 Stella by Starlight (Young, Washington)  4:44


Cd. 5

Porgy and Bess

1 The Buzzard Song  4:04
2 Bess You Is My Woman  5:10
3 Gone  3:37
4 Gone, Gone, Gone  2:01
5 Summertime  3:17
6 Bess, Oh Where's My Bess  4:20
7 Prayer (Oh, Doctor Jesus)  4:10
8 Fishermen, Strawberry and Devil Crab  4:00
9 My Man's Gone Now  5:30
10 It Ain't Necessarily So  2:15
11 Here Come de Honey Man  1:17
12 I Loves You, Porgy  4:04
13 There's a Boat That's Leaving Soon for New York  3:24

All Compositions by G. & I. Gershwin, & D. Heyward


Cd. 6

Kind of Blue

1 So What  9:33
2 Freddie Freeloader  10:02
3 Blue in Green  5:41
4 All Blues  12:07
5 Flamenco Sketches  9:50

All Composition by M. Davis 


Cd. 7

Sketches of Spain

1 Concierto de Aranjuez (Rodrigo)  16:19
2 Will o' the Wisp (Falla)  3:50
(from "El Amor brujo")
3 The Pan Piper (Evans)  3:53
4 Saeta (Evans)  5:08
5 Solea (Evans)  12:14


Cd. 8

Someday My Prince Will Come

1 Someday My Prince Will Come (Churchill, Morey)  9:06
(from the Walt Disney film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs)
2 Old Folks (Hill, Robinson)  5:16
3 Pfrancing (Davis)  8:32
4 Drad-Dog (Davis)  4:30
5 Teo (Davis)  9:35
6 I Thought About You (Mercer, VanHeusen)  4:30


Cd. 9

Miles & Monk at Newport

The Miles Davis Sextet
1 Ah-Leu-Cha (Parker)  5:47
2 Straight, No Chaser (Monk)  8:46
3 Fran-Dance (Davis)  7:04
4 Two Bass Hit (Gillespie, Lewis)  4:13

The Thelonious Monk Quartet
5 Nutty (Monk)  13:55
6 Blue Monk (Monk)  11:15


Featuring John Coltrane, Ernie Royal, Charlie Rouse, Lee Konitz, John Carisi, Bernie Glow, Hank Mobley, Wynton Kelly, Butch Warren, Barney Wilen, Red Garland, Paul Chambers, René Urtreger, Frank Rehak, Gunther Schuller, Jimmy Cleveland, Philly Joe Jones, Pierre Michelot, Kenny Clarke, Jimmy Cobb, Danny Bank, Elvin Jones, Janet Putman, Bill Barber, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Frankie Dunlop, Pee Wee Russell, Bill Evans, Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, Johnny Coles...

Recorded between October 27, 1955 & August 4, 1963

See the complete artwork


lucky5 said...

Thank you very much ,Mel, for 9 CD's of great music.

Descargador said...

Y O U A R E T H E B E S T !!!

Albertito Jazz said...

Un millón de gracias, Melanchthon!

Ананасий Непитин said...

you really know how to surprise.
thanks a lot!

Barry Cohen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Val said...

Great ! Thx Mel.

deGallo said...

Much appreciated!! Thank you.

ProfessorCalculus said...

Mucho Gracias Mel.

richsoul said...

Thanks for the excellent cd and time and effort. Thank you.

zero said...

How many releases are there of these albums? Doesn't matter. They're all worth hearing, and it's grand to have digital versions of the original LPs. Thanks a lot.

K Alimpong said...

Great collection. Wonderful resource, but what is the password please?

Markus Rose said...

This one is so great...that i'm feeling guilty tapping into it. mono is the way these were meant to be heard. thank you many times over.



pedro gamundi said...


CrunchyFrog said...

what a treat... many thanks!

hcb said...

Delightful, as always. Happy holidays.

Unknown said...

Thank you kindly.

mosesundole said...

Thanks a lot for your postings,
but - where do i find the requested
password(s) to open them ??
greetings from germany -

AmyBRAINS said...

It's a real great post.
Many thanks, Melanchthon.

Silvio said...


hamfat said...

Thanks once again, Melanchthon. Having trouble with the usual password. tried the other two and none are accepted. Any suggestions?

hamfat said...

Please ignore my previous comment. I tried a different unarchiving app and the password worked fine. Thanks again for the upload.

steve said...

Great stuff, can I get a little password help.
Greetings from Nevada

Melanchthon said...


Cd. 1
Cd. 2
Cd. 3
Cd. 4
Cd. 5
Cd. 6
Cd. 7
Cd. 8
Cd. 9

Kurt Hriczucsah said...

Thank you so much - you are the best!!!

Anonymous said...

O. M. G.
Thank you so much.

hcb said...

Amazing. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Y O U A R E T H E B E S T !!! as someone before me commented, MM!

Anonymous said...

Simply fantastic set. However, was unsuccessful getting the files from the ninth disc to unpack. (Tried downloading them twice, even).
Awesome post, though. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

anonymous with file problem...
i'm guessing you're using a mac.
7z files are very oddly glitchy. sometimes other programs will work with them, other times not when using a mac. this was my experience. since they mostly unpacked successfully, i wrongly concluded that the problem was with a bad file.
the solution for me has been using a mac app called crossover, through which i can run and use 7zip. no more issues. #9 unpacked correctly.

thanks so much for the miles, melanchthon


Todd Earl Winkels Van Buskirk said...

Thank you for the generous gift. You didn't have to, but you're the kind of person who does, and I really appreciate it!

Fred Archtop said...

Melanchthon au pouvoir ! Des richesses enfin accessibles à tous. Chacun aura juste selon ses goûts et ses besoins. No more greed ! Merci 1000 fois.

Mike Chinaski said...

Many Thanx, I Love Miles And Mono Sound...Just Perfect.

Kovina Kris said...

This is seriously great stuff. Thank you Mel!