Miles Davis – Steamin’

More Miles Davis

More Steamin’

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

WOW — this Prestige Yellow Label Mono pressing has some of the most realistic, natural Miles Davis sound we’ve ever heard! Both sides earned A+++ grades and play Mint Minus Minus or a little better, truly exceptional for a vintage pressing such as this one. You will have an incredibly difficult time finding a copy that can hold its own with this one.

There are great sounding reissues and later pressings of this music, but hearing it on this old copy was like getting a taste of the real thing!

We had a bunch of copies on hand from a variety of different eras. As mentioned above, there are some later pressings of this music that do an incredible job communicating this music. Hearing this music come to life like it does here was a special treat. I don’t think you could get this music to sound any more realistic and lifelike than it does here.

If you’re a fan of the classic Miles / Coltrane / Paul Chambers / Red Garland / Philly Joe Jones quintet lineup from the late ’50s, you should jump on this one before it is gone for good. You’d pay at least $100 for a copy like this on eBay or at a record store with no guarantee of good sound or reasonable surfaces. This copy plays Mint Minus Minus with no groove damage or scratches, which is pretty exceptional in its own right. The sound is another story!

Both sides were clearly worth our top grade of A+++. The sound is big, lively and natural throughout. The top is extended, the bottom has real weight, and the middle is right on the money. The immediacy and transparency are off the charts. This is one powerhouse of a jazz record!


All Music Guide Five Star Review

Although chronologically the last to be issued, this collection includes some of the best performances from the tapes which would produce the albums Cookin’, Relaxin’, Workin’, and ultimately, Steamin’.

A primary consideration of these fruitful sessions is the caliber of musicians — Miles Davis (trumpet), Red Garland (piano), John Coltrane (tenor sax), and Philly Joe Jones (drums) — who were basically doing their stage act in the studio. As actively performing musicians, the material they are most intimate with would be their live repertoire. Likewise, what more obvious place than a studio is there to capture every inescapable audible nuance of the combo’s musical group mind.

The end results are consistently astonishing. At the center of Steamin’, as with most outings by this band, are the group improvisations which consist of solo upon solo of arguably the sweetest and otherwise most swinging interactions known to have existed between musicians. “Surrey With the Fringe on Top” is passed between the mates like an old joke. Garland compliments threads started by Davis and Coltrane as their seamless interaction yields a stream of strikingly lyrical passages.

There are two well-placed nods to fellow bop pioneers Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie on a revision of their “Salt Peanuts.” Philly Joe Jones’ mimicking cymbal speak — which replicates Gillespie’s original vocals — is nothing short of genius. This rendition is definitely as crazy and unpredictable here as the original.

Thelonious Monk also gets kudos on “Well, You Needn’t.” This quintet makes short work of the intricacies of the arrangement, adding the double horn lead on the choruses and ultimately redefining this jazz standard. Although there is no original material on Steamin’, it may best represent the ability of the Miles Davis quintet to take standards and rebuild them to suit their qualifications.

Overall Sonic Grade:

Side One – A+++ 
Side Two – A+++

Vinyl Grade:

1) Mint Minus Minus (noisy edge) 
2) Mint Minus Minus (noisy edge, ticky for last 1/4″)

Cover Grade: 8 out of 10

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Surrey With the Fringe on Top 
Salt Peanuts 
Something I Dreamed Last Night

Side Two

Diane 
Well, You Needn’t 
When I Fall in Love

AMG 5 Star Rave Review

Although chronologically the last to be issued, this collection includes some of the best performances from the tapes which would produce the albums Cookin’, Relaxin’, Workin’, and ultimately, Steamin’. A primary consideration of these fruitful sessions is the caliber of musicians — Miles Davis (trumpet), Red Garland (piano), John Coltrane (tenor sax), and Philly Joe Jones (drums) — who were basically doing their stage act in the studio. As actively performing musicians, the material they are most intimate with would be their live repertoire. Likewise, what more obvious place than a studio is there to capture every inescapable audible nuance of the combo’s musical group mind. The end results are consistently astonishing. At the center of Steamin’, as with most outings by this band, are the group improvisations which consist of solo upon solo of arguably the sweetest and otherwise most swinging interactions known to have existed between musicians. “Surrey With the Fringe on Top” is passed between the mates like an old joke. Garland compliments threads started by Davis and Coltrane as their seamless interaction yields a stream of strikingly lyrical passages. There are two well-placed nods to fellow bop pioneers Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie on a revision of their “Salt Peanuts.” Philly Joe Jones’ mimicking cymbal speak — which replicates Gillespie’s original vocals — is nothing short of genius. This rendition is definitely as crazy and unpredictable here as the original. Thelonious Monk also gets kudos on “Well, You Needn’t.” This quintet makes short work of the intricacies of the arrangement, adding the double horn lead on the choruses and ultimately redefining this jazz standard. Although there is no original material on Steamin’, it may best represent the ability of the Miles Davis quintet to take standards and rebuild them to suit their qualifications.