Miles Davis - Miles Smiles - 180g LP


Miles Davis - Miles Smiles - 180g LP

Product no.: CS9401

In stock

Miles Davis - Miles Smiles - 180g LP
£22.99
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AAA 100% Analogue This LP was Remastered using Pure Analogue Components Only from the Master Tapes through to the Cutting Head

Speakers Corner / Columbia - CS 9401 - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl 

AAA 100% Analogue - Limited Edition  

Mastered & Cut by Willem Makkee at Emil Berliner - Pressed  at Pallas Germany

Speakers Corner 25 Years Pure Analogue

My copy had no flaws, pops or skips. Mile's horn, especially when muted, is more accurate and cleaner than the original, less strident and piercing. If you are a fan of this LP, this Speaker's Corner edition will be a welcome addition - StereoMojo

Except for the taping of a live performance at the Portland Festival, Miles Davis’s discography for 1966 only lists the recordings made for the LP "Miles Smiles"! How strange when one considers the usual large output of Miles and his ensembles for Columbia Records in the Sixties.

The bass player Ron Carter was best suited for the complicated rhythm part and remained Miles’s 'number one' in a quintet which gave a new interpretation to compositions by Wayne Shorter and jazz hits such as "Freedom Jazz Dance" by Eddie Harris and Jimmy Heath’s "Gingerbread Boy".

Every second of the nine-minute-long "Footprints" by Shorter is an absolute highlight, while the drumming of the young Tony Williams in "Freedom Jazz Dance" is full of vitality, with a quick pulse, and even described as "threatening" in the liner notes. This music is neither 'new stream' nor 'old guard' but good modern jazz according to Anthony Tuttle. That’s exactly what "Miles Smiles" was upon its release 40 years ago – and that’s what it is to this day! And that Miles Davis smiled for once thanks to the great musical relationship between the five individualists is certainly no mere rumour.

Back in Issue 33 of Positive Feedback, I reviewed one of my favorite jazz albums, Miles Smiles, by the second great Miles Davis Quintet.  Outstanding musical content, for sure; but I lamented about the fact that there weren't any audiophile releases available to do sonic justice to the music that was laid down on this classic recording. Well high praise to the reissue gods at Speakers Corner: they've answered my prayers with the release of this high quality, super-quiet, 180 gram reissue of Miles Smiles.

And what a fine reissue job they've done: Miles Smiles a la Speakers Corner is now a more refined-sounding album, virtually rid of the sonic bunions of earlier releases—all the while staying true to the recording intent of the original engineer, Teo Macero. Gone is the slightly raspy timbre and rough edge to Miles' signature trumpet tone mentioned in my earlier review; Wayne Shorter's sax has a more realistic, slightly rounder tone; and Tony Williams' cymbals have more natural shimmer and decay. Herbie Hancock's piano also sounds cleaner, devoid of the clipped harmonics and sharpness found on the standard weight LP. There is however one minor drawback when comparing this reissue to the fine-sounding (but out of print) Columbia 180 gram pressing: the tonal balance of the Speaker Corners is marginally leaner with a little less weight to Ron Carter's upright, and there's a smidge less piano presence in the mix. Nevertheless, the Speakers Corner version does have better clarity across the board, making it easier to follow individual instruments.

Overall, Speakers Corner has done an excellent job with Miles Smiles, improving upon every other available release of this gem in sonically subtle yet musically important ways. That they've chosen to stay faithful to the character of the original release while refining the sound speaks very highly to their passion for delivering quality LPs you'll enjoy listening to over and over again—and this is definitely one of 'em. Well done, Speakers Corner! - POSITIVE FEEDBACK

With their second album, Miles Smiles, the second Miles Davis Quintet really began to hit their stride, delving deeper into the more adventurous, exploratory side of their signature sound. This is clear as soon as "Orbits" comes crashing out the gate, but it's not just the fast, manic material that has an edge -- slower, quieter numbers are mercurial, not just in how they shift melodies and chords, but how the voicing and phrasing never settles into a comfortable groove. This is music that demands attention, never taking predictable paths or easy choices. Its greatest triumph is that it masks this adventurousness within music that is warm and accessible -- it just never acts that way. No matter how accessible this is, what's so utterly brilliant about it is that the group never brings it forth to the audience. They're playing for each other, pushing and prodding each other in an effort to discover new territory. As such, this crackles with vitality, sounding fresh decades after its release. And, like its predecessor, ESP, this freshness informs the writing as well, as the originals are memorable, yet open-ended and nervy, setting (and creating) standards for modern bop that were emulated well into the new century. Arguably, this quintet was never better than they are here, when all their strengths are in full bloom.

Musicians:

  • Miles Davis
  • Wayne Shorter (tenor saxophone)
  • Herbie Hancock (piano)
  • Ron Carter (bass)
  • Tony Williams (drums)

Recording: October 1966 at Columbia Records­Studios, New York, by Frank Laico
Production: Teo Macero 

Track Listing:
1. Orbits
2. Circle
3. Footprints
4. Dolores
5. Freedom Jazz Dance
6. Ginger Bread Boy
 

Miles Davis - Miles Smiles - 180g LP

 

 
This Speakers Corner LP was remastered using pure analogue components only, from the master tapes through to the cutting head
25 Years pure Analogue
Are your records completely analogue?
Yes! This we guarantee!
As a matter of principle, only analogue masters are used, and the necessary cutting delay is also analogue. All our cutting engineers use only Neumann cutting consoles, and these too are analogue. The only exception is where a recording has been made – either partly or entirely – using digital technology, but we do not have such items in our catalogue at the present time
 
Are your records cut from the original masters?
In our re-releases it is our aim to faithfully reproduce the original intentions of the musicians and recording engineers which, however, could not be realised at the time due to technical limitations. Faithfulness to the original is our top priority, not the interpretation of the original: there is no such thing as a “Speakers Corner Sound”. Naturally, the best results are obtained when the original master is used. Therefore we always try to locate these and use them for cutting. Should this not be possible, – because the original tape is defective or has disappeared, for example – we do accept a first-generation copy. But this remains an absolute exception for us.
 
Who cuts the records?
In order to obtain the most faithful reproduction of the original, we have the lacquers cut on the spot, by engineers who, on the whole, have been dealing with such tapes for many years. Some are even cut by the very same engineer who cut the original lacquers of the first release. Over the years the following engineers have been and still are working for us: Tony Hawkins, Willem Makkee, Kevin Gray, Maarten de Boer, Scott Hull, and Ray Staff, to name but a few.
At the beginning of the ‘90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the reissue policy was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC Compact Classics, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and others, including of course Speakers Corner, all maintained a mutual, unwritten code of ethics: we would manufacture records sourced only from analogue tapes. 
 
Vinyl’s newfound popularity has led many other companies to jump on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source from which to master: CDs, LPs, digital files and even MP3s. 
 
Even some who do use an analogue tape source employ a digital delay line, a misguided ’80s and ‘90s digital technology that replaces the analogue preview head originally used to “tell” the cutter head in advance what was about to happen musically, so it could adjust the groove “pitch” (the distance between the grooves) to make room for wide dynamic swings and large low frequency excursions. Over time analogue preview heads became more rare and thus expensive. 
 
So while the low bit rate (less resolution than a 16 bit CD) digital delay line is less expensive and easier to use than an analogue “preview head”, its use, ironically, results in lacquers cut from the low bit rate digital signal instead of from the analogue source! 
 
Speakers Corner wishes to make clear that it produces lacquers using only original master tapes and an entirely analogue cutting system. New metal stampers used to press records are produced from that lacquer. The only exceptions are when existing metal parts are superior to new ones that might be cut, which includes our release of “Elvis is Back”, which was cut by Stan Ricker or several titles from our Philips Classics series, where were cut in the 1990s using original master tapes by Willem Makkee at the Emil Berliner Studios. In those cases we used only the original “mother” to produce new stampers. 
 
In addition, we admit to having one digital recording in our catalogue: Alan Parsons’ “Eye in the Sky”, which was recorded digitally but mixed to analogue tape that we used to cut lacquers. 
 
In closing, we want to insure our loyal customers that, with but a few exceptions as noted, our releases are “AAA”— analogue tape, an all analogue cutting system, and newly cut lacquers.
 
Audiophile Vinyl - Made in Germany  For over 60 years the family business in the third generation of the special personal service and quality "Made by Pallas" is known worldwide. Our custom PVC formulation produces consistently high pressing quality with the lowest surface noise in the industry. Our PVC complies with 2015 European environmental standards and does not contain toxic materials such as Lead, Cadmium or Toluene. Our vinyl is both audiophile and eco-grade!  
 
PALLAS
Audiophile Vinyl - Made in Germany  For over 60 years the family business in the third generation of the special personal service and quality "Made by Pallas" is known worldwide. Our custom PVC formulation produces consistently high pressing quality with the lowest surface noise in the industry. Our PVC complies with 2015 European environmental standards and does not contain toxic materials such as Lead, Cadmium or Toluene. Our vinyl is both audiophile and eco-grade!  

 

 

 

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