Mobile Fidelity - UDSACD 2145 - SACD Hybrid Stereo - Columbia CS 9532
Numbered Limited Edition - Plays on All CD Players
Half Speed Mastered by Shawn R Britton from the Original Master Tape at MFSL
Mastered on the Mobile Fidelity GAIN 2™ Mastering Technology for Ultradisc UHR™ SACD
SOUND QUALITY In a word: phenomenal. Sorcerer has the best sound quality of any of the second quintet's recordings reissued by MoFi as of this writing. The session engineer, Frank Laico, mic'd and mixed the band differently from Fred Plaut and Stan Tonkel, who were at the controls a month later for the Nefertiti sessions. All throughout Sorcerer, and especially on "Limbo" where Tony Williams plays with such ferocious intensity, there's no hint of distortion—the entire drum kit, the snare, toms and cymbals, are being struck at fortissimo levels practically all at once—and the tape never seems to oversaturate or the board to peak out. Williams' kit is evenly but not too widely spread out behind the bass, which is also vividly recorded. Hancock on piano is set to the right, the trumpet and saxophone divided, respectively left and right. By contrast, on Nefertiti, the horns are mixed center-unison, the cymbals forward and left, and the sound picture has less immediacy and clarity than on Sorcerer, though it is a big improvement over previous issues. MoFi is working with a constant—the Tim de Paravicini-modified Studer deck and the electronics that make up their Gain 2 playback chain. Differences in quality between the session tapes are down to the choices of the original recording engineers. Though Sorcerer may not be the most influential of the second quintet's recordings, the standout performances and superb sound quality make it highly recommendable to all jazz lovers and audiophiles - HR Audio
Filled with aural magic and enchanting musical spells, Sorcerer is true to its name. The third of five albums devised by Miles Davis’ legendary second quintet—and the second record in a still-unprecedented string of eight consecutive releases within a four-year period that forever changed the face of jazz—the 1967 magnum opus mesmerizes with instrumental colors, subdued musings, and subtle details. These crucial characteristics blossom with vibrant realism on Mobile Fidelity’s definitive pressing.
Mastered from the original master tapes, this collectable audiophile edition of Sorcerer joins the ranks of eleven other essential Davis records given supreme sonic and packaging treatment by Mobile Fidelity. Longtime listeners will immediately recognize a wealth of information and depth of tonality unavailable on prior versions. The myriad shadings, interwoven textures, and relaxed nuances that tie the post-bop set’s warm compositions together are rendered with utmost realism.
This is a reference-standard reissue. You’ll hear poetic lyricism pouring out of Wayne Shorter’s horn, the breadth and definition of the notes spreading across an enormous soundstage. Never before have drummer Tony Williams’ rim shots ricocheted with such purpose or his light percussive work mirrored that of a feather touching skin. Similarly, Herbie Hancock’s piano runs now occupy their own space, where their relationship to the central rhythms and front line becomes clearer.
Prizing inflection and nuance more so than heady solos or uptempo flights, Sorcerer mesmerizes with cerebral properties and cascades of emotional interplay. Such beauty emerges in the mellow ballad “Pee Wee,” an indelible statement of restrained authority and sophisticated expression. The swirling title track unfolds as jazz shadowplay, Hancock, Shorter, and Williams mirroring one another’s moves with guile and purpose. The opening “Prince of Darkness” showcases the ensemble’s reach and communication, every musician going in seemingly different directions yet ending up on the same page.
A lasting example of Davis’ visionary insight, Sorcerer is comprised entirely of pieces written by his band mates. Indeed, save for the closing “Nothing Like You”—a brief tribute to Davis’ eventual wife, who also graces the cover, recorded in 1962 and adorned with vocals from Bob Dorough—the album represents a further maturation and refinement of a quintet that stands as one of the finest in jazz history. Mobile Fidelity is proud to give the record the treatment it’s long deserved.
Miles Davis, trumpet
Wayne Shorter, tenor saxophone
Herbie Hancock, piano
Ron Carter, double bass
Tony Williams, drums
1. Prince of Darkness
2. Pee Wee
4. The Sorcerer
7. Nothing Like You
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.