KOB might be the most-reissued jazz album ever. Columbia relentlessly marketed it from Day 1, and it
continues to appeal to new discoverers such as Frank. That tells me it truly is a classic, timeless
recording. It was probably the most widely accessible "new and different" thing that Miles Davis
did, probably because it's not unsettling to someone with a conservative sense of Western music and
jazz. For instance, there is a wide swath of listeners who likely will never like the "Birth of
Cool" material, and perhaps an even wider swath who will be turned off by "Bitches Brew" and Miles'
version of free-form fusion. I would recommend a try at "Jack Johnson" if "Bitches Brew" repells you
too much. I'm not a Miles Davis fanatic, but I respect his constant exploration of new and different
musical styles and instrument combos. To my ears, there were many better trumpet players in the 50s
through 70s (Clifford Brown, Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard, Art Farmer and Woody Shaw, to name a few),
but few jazz men who pushed the genre out as far, for better or worse.
It's worth noting that the Kind of Blue 3-tracks are not in good shape, and Sony mastering engineer
Mark Wilder made what might be the last transfer -- and new mono and stereo mixes -- last year.
Wilder was the discoverer of the off-speed/off-pitch problem with side 1 back in the early CD era.
Every reissue since the second CD remaster (Columbia Gold CD in deluxe album packaging, circa late
1980s) has been correctly pitched. As far as I know, no one outside of Sony except Classic Records,
in the mid-90s, has been allowed to handle or play the original tapes. According to Wilder, despite
some published reports to the contrary, the new Sony stereo and mono LPs were cut at Sterling Sound
from 96/24 digital files provided by Sony, the same files sold on HDTracks.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Frank Strauss" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, July 25, 2014 1:43 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Miles Davis and Jazzmen
> Both mono and stereo are available at HDTracksdotcom, in AIFF, ALAC, FLAC,
> or WAV. 192/24 is $24.98 and 96/24 is $17.98, the Columbia/Legacy 2013
> re-issue. There is also quite an interesting book by Richard Williams,
> copyright 2009, to celebrate the 50th Anniversary, titled The Blue Moment;
> Miles Davis's Kind of Blue and the Remaking of Modern Music. Quite
> reasonably priced at Amazon, since it wasn't destined to be a mass market
> success. I really thought about which version to get, and decided on the
> stereo; I like to listen to the individual players. I recently discovered
> Kind Of Blue at a course about jazz at a local college, and am becoming
> addicted. I listened to classical and folk during the 50's and 60's; Kind
> of Blue snuck past me. If you trust Wikipedia, there sure have been a lot
> of re-issues.
> On Fri, Jul 25, 2014 at 9:07 AM, Jim Long <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Tom Fine wrote:
>> <If you've never heard this album, I highly recommend the recently-reissued
>> MONO version, which highlights the ensemble playing much better than the
>> wide-spread, better-known stereo version.>
>> What specific mono version/versions do you mean? I see more than one
>> during a quick Internet search.
>> Jim Long
> Frank B Strauss, DMD