Miles Davis All Stars – Walkin’ (Miles, trumpet; J.J. Johnson, trombone; Lucky Thompson, tenor sax; David Shildcraut, alto sax; Horace Silver, piano; Percy Heath, bass; Kenny Clarke, drums) – Prestige

by | Jul 30, 2006 | Jazz CD Reviews | 0 comments

Miles Davis All Stars – Walkin’ (Miles, trumpet; J.J. Johnson, trombone; Lucky Thompson, tenor sax; David Shildcraut, alto sax; Horace Silver, piano; Percy Heath, bass; Kenny Clarke, drums) – Prestige RVG Remasters series PRCD-30008-2, 37:56 ****:

Miles Davis is undoubtedly the most-reissued recording artist to audiophiles.  His two 1954 quintet and sextet sessions presented on the Walkin’ disc were some of the earliest sessions the acknowledged genius of jazz recording Rudy Van Gelder had put down on tape, when he was still using his parent’s living room as his makeshift studio. 

Although originally recorded in his “deep mono,” someone along the way decided in his greater wisdom that this terrific recording needed some pimping, in the process adding some really obvious and fake-sounding artificial reverb and making re-channeled stereo out of it. And it sounds to me like all the reissues since then have used the same tapes rather than going back to the originals. They were certainly used for the JVC xrcd reissue a couple years ago, and sound the same this time around. The difference is that recent enhancements in mastering at 24-bit resolution and in pressing of CDs have resulted in this mid-price CD sounding  – at least to my ears – identical to the previous $30 xrcd release. The greater clarity brings Miles’ horn and the other soloists more forward, making the annoying reverb less prominent.

Tracks: Walkin;, Blue ‘n’ Boogie, Solar, You Don’t Know What Love Is, Love Me Or Leave Me.

– John Sunier

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