Miles Davis – Nefertiti

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This Columbia 360 Label pressing has excellent sound on both sides and unusually quiet vinyl throughout. The music is wonderful too — Miles and his late ’60s quintet featuring Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Tony Williams are all in top form here, slowly working their way towards the electric fusion sounds that would be coming shortly. Many copies lack the kind of transparency and clarity you need to make sense of what each player is doing, but this Super Hot pressing gives you those qualities on both sides.

We had a big stack of copies for this one, including a bunch of 360 originals and some later Red Label pressings. You can find great sound on either label but it will probably take you a few copies to get there, and you’d need a bunch to have any hope of finding two sides this good on vinyl this quiet.

Side one is natural and balanced with good weight down low and nice extension up top. The bass sounds just right and the brass is full-bodied with lots of breath. We gave it an A+ to A++ grade.

Side two is even better at A++ — lively and present with excellent transparency. You can really hear into the music on this side, and there’s real depth to the soundfield. Many of our 360s did not have the kind of clarity you get here, and none of the Red Labels were this rich, full and warm.

It’s getting tougher to find these classic Miles albums. Hit the jazz bins at your local store and I’m sure you’ll have the same experience we’ve been having — tons of pricey modern reissues but not too many clean early copies. I know there are even better copies of Nefertiti out there, but can you actually track them down these days?

Top Players

Bass – Ron Carter 
Drums – Tony Williams
Piano – Herbie Hancock 
Tenor Saxophone – Wayne Shorter

Producer (on some tracks) – Teo Macero
Engineers – Fred Plaut, Ray Moore


Side One

Hand Jive

Side Two


AMG 5 Star Review

Nefertiti, the fourth album by Miles Davis’ second classic quintet, continues the forward motion of Sorcerer, as the group settles into a low-key, exploratory groove, offering music with recognizable themes — but themes that were deliberately dissonant, slightly unsettling even as they burrowed their way into the consciousness… What’s impressive, like on all of this quintet’s sessions, is the interplay, how the musicians follow an unpredictable path as a unit, turning in music that is always searching, always provocative, and never boring. Perhaps Nefertiti’s charms are a little more subtle than those of its predecessors, but that makes it intriguing.