Monthly Archives: September 2013

130904_milesmonoI was hoping for Miles Davis in Europe, Vol 3….but this will have to do.

SEPTEMBER 4, 2013, 10:49 am

Landmark box set presents nine albums remastered in original, brilliant sound, as they were intended to be heard in the 1950s and ’60s

Available everywhere November 12, 2013, through Columbia/Legacy

Nine of Miles Davis’ earliest albums on Columbia Records, encompassing music that he recorded for the label in monaural sound from 1956 to 1961 (and released from 1957 to 1964), will be issued together on CD for the first time as Miles Davis: The Original Mono Recordings. This historic box set, comprising nine CDs in mini-LP replica jackets, will be available everywhere November 11, 2013 through Columbia/Legacy, a division of Sony Music Entertainment. Pre-order at On November 29th in celebration of Record Store Day, Columbia/Legacy will follow up with vinyl mono editions of Kind Of Blue, Miles & Monk At Newport, and Jazz Track — capping a series of recently released mono LPs including ‘Round About Midnight, Miles Ahead, Milestones, Porgy and Bess, Sketches of Spain, and Someday My Prince Will Come.

Miles Davis: The Original Mono Recordings is a true landmark collection, with every album newly remastered in 2012-13, from the original analog master tapes. CD consumers will be able to hear Miles’ early music in mono, the way virtually all popular music was recorded, marketed and intended to be heard in the 1950s and early 1960s. Mono was the norm before the home, broadcast and film stereo era began to develop fully in the mid-’60s, leading to stereo’s all-encompassing takeover by the early ’70s.

The Original Mono Recordings by Miles Davis includes:

The six albums that trace the development of Miles’ “first great quintet” at Columbia, all notably featuring John Coltrane, namely ’Round About Midnight, Milestones, Jazz Track, Kind Of Blue (at 4-times RIAA platinum, the greatest selling jazz album of all time), Someday My Prince Will Come, and Miles And Monk At Newport; and

The three albums that placed Miles (and various group members) in sophisticated orchestral settings at Columbia, all notably arranged and conducted by Gil Evans, namely Miles Ahead, Porgy And Bess, and Sketches Of Spain.

Two of the albums included in The Original Mono Recordings are exciting rare editions that have never appeared in any Miles Davis CD collection in the U.S., and have not been generally available for many years:

Jazz Track, presenting 10 improvised tracks that Miles recorded in Paris with European musicians in 1957, for director Louis Malle’s film Ascenseur pour l’échafaud (Elevator To the Gallows), combined with three tracks by Miles’ own sextet in New York — featuring Davis, John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, Bill Evans, Paul Chambers, and Jimmy Cobb — from their only other studio recordings of 1958, prior to the Kind Of Blue sessions in ’59; and

Miles And Monk At Newport, featuring four jazz classics recorded live by the Miles Davis Sextet at the jazz festival in 1958, followed by two classics recorded at the festival in 1963 by Columbia’s newly-signed Thelonious Monk Quartet.

more here.

Narciso Yepes Scarlatti Sonatas_0001Classical guitarist Narciso Yepes was influential in invention of the ten stringed guitar. The four extra bass strings extend the range of the instrument into the bass range, perfect for transcriptions of music originally composed for instruments like keyboards and the lute.

Besides the novelty of the instrument, I love Baroque music. I found this album used $2.99 a few years ago, Amazon shows it new at a reasonable price, so I guess it’s back in print.

Holdsworth Heavy MachineryAnders Johansson, Jens Johansson, Allan Holdsworth – Heavy Machinery (Heptagon)

Allan Holdsworth is an amazing, influential jazz/rock fusion guitarist…guitar’s answer to John Coltrane’s sheets of sound. It seems like he’s cramming every possible combination of notes into his solos over chord changes. Member of many seminal fusion bands – Tony Williams Lifetime, Soft Machine, Gong, Bruford, UK – Holdsworth has been changing the way guitar is played since the early 1970’s.

By the 90’s, the keyboards on Holdsworth’s solo albums were getting a bit too slick. His playing was still advancing, but the synth programming wasn’t. This group effort with the Swedish brothers Johansson – Anders  and Jens – is a bit different in this aspect. Live sounding, unprocessed drums and analog synths, it sounds like it was recorded in the ’70s, when in fact it was released in 1996. Energetic, exciting, brilliant playing by all. There’s lots of rock in this fusion, this is heavy music and still sounds contemporary today.

May 8, 2014 edit: interview with Jens.

Paolo Angeli plays Fred Frith and BjörkTessuti
Paolo Angeli plays Fred Frith and Björk (ReR)

The Sardinian guitar is invention by Paolo Angeli. It looks like a guitar, he holds it like a cello. There are pedals to control little hammers that hit the strings and a small motorized propeller taps out time on a string. Angeli plays with a bow or he plays it like a guitar. Usually a one man band, sometimes he sounds like a percussion orchestra, sometimes a free improviser.


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