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Miles Davis: First Nine Albums On Prestige


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The Bags' Groove and Walkin' sessions are the ones that I come back to the most, with the marathon sessions of the first quintet a close second.   In the digital age, there is no problem listening to these sessions in complete form regardless of how the music was divided up on the original albums. 

 

Edited by John L
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12 minutes ago, JSngry said:

I loved it. The photos were more or less always time-period accurate, which was a real changeup for Prestige.

Agree about the photos.  The graphics struck me as cheap.  Keep in mind I saw these in an era during which there were lots of cheap jazz reissues, and it was sometimes hard to separate the wheat from the chaff, especially for a kid who was still learning about all this stuff.

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1 hour ago, mjzee said:

I want to put in a good word for this box set, still available on Amazon for $55.58.  Legit release, good sound quality, very convenient to have them all in one place.

91nH8n5XZGL._SL1500_.jpg

 

If I didn't already have all the albums, this is probably how I would purchase them now. Shame that Blue Moods couldn't have been included, but it was on Debut.

8 hours ago, JSngry said:

I think I would go back to Collectors Items, with both Bird & Rollins on tenor.

The 24000 series twofer is an even better listen.

NjYtMTcwMy5qcGVn.jpeg

So, this set has all of Collector's Items, the two bonus tracks from Dig, and all of Blue Moods. That's a good listen.

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4 hours ago, John L said:

The Bags' Groove and Walkin' sessions are the ones that I come back to the most, with the marathon sessions of the first quintet a close second.

Same. I’d put the session w/Rollins and Silver from June 1954 in 3rd place, followed by the two “odd” 1955 albums (quintet/sextet) and Musings of Miles, followed by the 1951 Dig session

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4 hours ago, Teasing the Korean said:

Agree about the photos.  The graphics struck me as cheap.  Keep in mind I saw these in an era during which there were lots of cheap jazz reissues, and it was sometimes hard to separate the wheat from the chaff, especially for a kid who was still learning about all this stuff.

Of course they were cheap. This was before Prestige got bought by Fantasy. A totally indie label then. Bob Weinstock was making his money from Bob Porter & Soul Jazz. There was not necessarily a big market for this stuff yet. Yet. But the times were changing and not everybody was enjoying that. So they created a rather interesting "series" (or two...) and gave it a unified look. Cheap, but unified. 

What stood out her  was that they were actually starting to think of their material as period-historic. Prior to that, there was a lot of reissuing the same record with new covers, stuff like that. And a lot(?) of it had been allowed to go OOP. 

IIRC, the Prestige 24000 series was more or less the big bang of the 2-fer boom. Then Prestige bought Milestone and began doing the same thing with the Riverside catalog. And then Fantasy bought them and one thing led to another, meaning OJC, of which I was not an unqualified fan.

But that's reading ahead 

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44 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Of course they were cheap. This was before Prestige got bought by Fantasy. A totally indie label then. Bob Weinstock was making his money from Bob Porter & Soul Jazz. There was not necessarily a big market for this stuff yet. Yet. But the times were changing and not everybody was enjoying that. So they created a rather interesting "series" (or two...) and gave it a unified look. Cheap, but unified. 

Well, there's cheap, and then there's cheap.

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Selling 15 year old jazz in 1970 was no easy feat.  Savoy didn't even try. Riverside - and then ABC - gave up. Prestige tried, kept going and succeeded. 

If you look at that whole series (linked above), it was actually very well done in terms of overall quality. The liner notes alone were worth the cost of admission.

Some of those albums have been rendered obsolete. But some remain my preferred version, even today. Like. I bought that Sonny Stitt Bebop Sides set and found that the Prestige silver colored cover release was more satisfying in every regard, especially because Side 1 was the whole crux of the matter. Efficient! 

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21 hours ago, HutchFan said:

Doh!  I've never seen that before!  

:D 

 

Amazing that it should be that unknown. This was one of the very first Miles Daivs Quintet records I ever bought (back in the early 80s, I think). German Bellaphon license pressing, of course, but this cover always looked like "THE" real "period" thing to me.

 

22 hours ago, JSngry said:

I think I would go back to Collectors Items, with both Bird & Rollins on tenor.

The 24000 series twofer is an even better listen.

NjYtMTcwMy5qcGVn.jpeg

Also note that my generation was pre-OJC and came across this catalog in either 24000 series two-fers or, before that, the Prestige Historical Series

https://www.discogs.com/label/305455-Prestige-Historical-Series

ex:

MC04NzE1LmpwZWc.jpeg

This series invariably had luscious, still-definitive, liner notes.

Exactly. Both series were all over the place when I started out in the mid-70s (but of course not always all that affordable due to their sheer mass of material, even if you were selective). And yes, the liner notes were a bonus too.

16 hours ago, JSngry said:

I loved it. The photos were more or less always time-period accurate, which was a real changeup for Prestige.

It was a real changeup and upgrade compared to many, many other 50s jazz reissues from the 70s too (that seemed to have made point of awkwardly "modernizing" their covers), so very welcome indeed. I actually found that cover artwork fairly timeless and certainly not depressive, so no complaints here. And apparently it was considered"definitive" enough in the minds of some others out there too, so a variation on this theme was revived for the Onyx and Xanadu reissues (with Don Schlitten being the common denominator).

I'd be hard pressed naming a real standout favorite among those Prestiges (and the Debut), though. I have 11 out of the 14 LPs (plus an EP's worth of "Walkin'") in the OP's post but pull them out fairly evenly in turns to spin them.

Edited by Big Beat Steve
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16 hours ago, medjuck said:

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I got this when it first came out on cd so for better or for worse I tend to think of sessions rather than records.

 

Still got the LP version of that ‘Chronicle’ box but without the box and booklet. £1 per LP at a Mole Jazz sale. Have quite a few of the 24000 series Miles twofers too.

81pq6c9aQ7L._AC_SL1500_.jpg

Theres also this nice CD box.

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2 hours ago, Late said:

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Just listened to this album in its entirety. It'd been a while—much better than I remember, particularly Miles' playing. Coltrane is still getting it together it seems—the ideas are there, but not always the execution of those ideas.

That's my favorite of all of the first quintet albums, but I gather that it is the least known.

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On 10/14/2022 at 6:31 PM, medjuck said:

Screen-Shot-2022-10-14-at-3-22-06-PM.pngScreen-Shot-2022-10-14-at-3-22-06-PM.pngScreen-Shot-2022-10-14-at-3-22-06-PM.png

I got this when it first came out on cd so for better or for worse I tend to think of sessions rather than records.

This is how I have most of this material too, but when I ripped them to my hard drive, I separated them into their respective LPs.

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On 15.10.2022 at 5:00 AM, JSngry said:

If you look at that whole series (linked above), it was actually very well done in terms of overall quality. The liner notes alone were worth the cost of admission.

Like the notes Jon Hendricks wrote for the King Pleasure twofer - a virtual piece of vocalese prose.

Those twofers were my introduction to much of this music,  and i still have many of them.

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