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Mobile Fidelity - MFSL2-485 - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl - AAA 100% Analogue
Mastered by Kreig Wunderlich from the Original Master Tape
AAA 100% Analogue - 4,000 Numbered Limited Edition - Pressed at RTI
Half Speed Mastered on the Mobile Fidelity The Gain 2 Ultra Analog System
AAA 100% Analogue This LP was Remastered using Pure Analogue Components Only, from the Master Tapes through to the Cutting Head
The original (CS 8085) has its own more murky atmospheric charms, though finding a quiet copy can be a chore. This double 45, a Mark Wilder remix to analog tape from the original 3 track and pressed on much quieter vinyl, is treat even for well acquainted owners of the original pressing. The mix is more cohesive than the early stereo original. The gatefold "Tip on" jacket features session photos that add value to this outstanding reissue. If you're unfamiliar with this recording be ready for an opening fanfare blast that's bright, shrill and not at all like the rich, atmospheric sonics that follow for four sides. Highly recommended - Sound 10/10 Michael Fremer Analogue Planet
Miles Davis and Gil Evans' Porgy and Bess Is a Landmark of Arrangement, Performance, and Emotion: 1959 Adaptation of George Gershwin Opera Advances Jazz Idioms and Modal Playing
Mastered from the Original Master Tapes and Strictly Limited to 4,000 Numbered Copies: Mobile Fidelity 180g 45RPM 2LP Set Features Reference-Level Tonality, Depth, and Openness
If a more significant, influential, and lasting result of a creative musical partnership exists than that of Miles Davis and Gil Evans' Porgy and Bess, society hasn't seen it. It's impossible to overstate the importance of the pair's collaboration on the landmark 1959 update of George Gershwin's opera. Transcending genre, time, and place, the profound statement finds Evans and Davis implementing modal approaches in a mainstream context and advancing jazz idioms that would become the foundation of the form's still-classic era. And that's saying nothing of the soulful playing – legendary performances by Davis' first great quintet that can now be heard in pristine detail courtesy of this definitive analog edition.
Mastered from the original tapes, pressed at RTI, and strictly limited to 4,000 numbered copies, Porgy and Bess attains previously unheard degrees of clarity, openness, immediacy, and depth on Mobile Fidelity's 180g 45RPM 2LP set. Here, the arrangements unfold amidst practically limitless soundstages and burst with multi-dimensional images. Separation between instruments allows you to locate individual band members and trace the decay of the notes. Davis' iconic solo passages take on borderline-surreal qualities of realism and shape. The magisterial scope of the Evans-conducted orchestra emerges with room-filling bloom, color, and dynamics.
While difficult to pinpoint its single-best strength, Mobile Fidelity's reissue gives reference-level credence to what may remain the album's most crucial aspect: tone. Based not on chords but on scales and feeling, Porgy and Bess teems with emotions and possibilities – characteristics conveyed by the nuances, timbre, and temper delivered by the array of horns, woodwinds, basses, and percussion involved. Whether the combination of Bill Barber's tuba in unison with Paul Chambers' bass during "Buzzard Song," Davis' improvisational flights on "It Ain't Necessarily So," or the doubling up on alto flutes on several compositions, never before have they been experienced with such richness, roundness, and palpability.
Just as identifying singular sonic highlights proves virtually unfeasible, so does underlining which songs feature the most memorable exchanges, melodies, and scoring. Davis and Evans' adaptation of Porgy and Bess remains of a piece, an American touchstone, a recording that immediately separated itself from the multiple other versions released during the same period and continues to make waves decades after its creation, assuming a place in the historical canon alongside collaborative masterworks by Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn and Frank Sinatra/Nelson Riddle.
Defined by Davis biographer Jack Chambers as "a new score, with its own integrity, order, and action," Porgy and Bess has been identified by nearly every major outlet and expert as a must-have album. Davis' phrasing alone cements the effort with a genius quality. As Brian Cook and Richard Morton explain in The Penguin Guide to Jazz: "‘Prayer' is an astounding tour de force, harmonically suspended, and with Miles' most extraordinarily recorded solo to date punctuated by agonized screams and shouts, whether of affirmation or suffering it isn't easy to judge. Miles was not in good physical condition during the making of the record, which perhaps explains the twisting intensity, the bent notes and slurs which seem to express some inner pain." Then there's the immortal rendition of "Summertime," the epitome of calm, understatement, and beauty.
At once sweet and spiritual, sure and steady, graceful and exuberant, happy and poignant, Porgy and Bess is a phenomenal jazz dance that has never been equaled – and likely, never will. Hear it as Davis, Evans, and company intended and secure your limited numbered copy today!
Bass – Paul Chambers
Composed By – George Gershwin
Conductor – Gil Evans
Drums – "Philly" Joe Jones , Jimmy Cobb
Engineer – Ray Moore
Flute – Jerome Richardson
French Horn – Gunther Schuller, Julius Watkins, Willie Ruff
Producer – Cal Lampley, Teo Macero
Saxophone – Cannonball Adderly, Daniel B. Banks
Trombone – Frank Rehak, Jimmy Cleveland, Joseph Bennett, Dick Hixon*
Trumpet – Bernie Glow, Ernie Royal, Johnny Coles, Louis R. Mucci
Trumpet, Flugelhorn – Miles Davis
Tuba – Bill Barber
The Buzzard Song
Bess, You Is My Woman Now
Gone, Gone, Gone
Oh Bess, Where's My Bess?
Prayer (Oh Doctor Jesus)
Fisherman, Strawberry and Devil Crab
My Man's Gone Now
It Ain't Necessarily So
Here Come de Honey Man
I Wants to Stay Here (a.k.a. I Loves You, Porgy)
There's a Boat That's Leaving Soon for New York
GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ is a proprietary cutting system built and designed by legendary design genius Tim De Paravicini, with consultation from one of MFSL’s founding fathers – Stan Ricker, an audio engineer responsible for many of MFSL’s most heralded past releases.
The GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ system is comprised of a Studer™ tape machine with customized reproduction electronics* and handcrafted cutting amps that drive an Ortofon cutting head on a restored Neumann VMS-70 lathe. (*It is worth noting that independent studies have confirmed that the GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ system can unveil sonic information all the way up to 122kHz!)
First and foremost, we only utilize first generation original master recordings as source material for our releases. We then play back master tapes at half speed enabling the GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ system to fully extract the master’s sonic information. Our lacquers are then plated in a specialized process that protects transients in the musical signal. (Due to this process, there may be occasional pops or ticks inherent in initial play back, but as the disc is played more, a high quality stylus will actually polish the grooves and improve the sound). We further ensure optimum sound quality by strictly limiting the number of pressings printed for each release. These limited editions, in addition to being collectors’ items, ensure that the quality of the last pressing matches the quality of the first.
As you can imagine, all these efforts involve a tremendous amount of time, technology, cost and effort. The introduction of GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ maintains Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab’s position as the world’s leading audiophile record label, where a passion for music with extraordinary sound quality matters most.
RTI 180 HQ Vinyl
Record Technology is a world class record pressing plant located in Camarillo, California. We have been operating since 1974, pressing for most audiophile record labels and for many quality minded independent and major record labels from around the world.