Miles Davis

The Original Mono Recordings

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The 2013 box set The Original Mono Recordings, brings together all nine of the albums the legendary jazz trumpeter recorded for Columbia that were originally released in mono, including 1957's 'Round About Midnight, 1957's Miles Ahead, 1958's Milestones, 1959's Jazz Track, 1959's Porgy and Bess, 1959's Kind of Blue, 1960's Sketches of Spain, 1961's Someday My Prince Will Come, and 1964's Miles & Monk at Newport. Remastered using the original master tapes and with pristine versions of the LPs as comparative benchmarks for sound, these mono versions have a warmth and immediacy that, at the very least, match the stereo versions, and to some ears may even outdo them. Prior to 1959, all of Davis' recordings for Columbia were released in mono. Which means that, although stereo became a popular format during the '60s, most listeners first heard these landmark albums in mono. In fact, mono was considered the most faithful and purest representation of how the music sounded in the studio. There is some logic to this notion, as the aim was to present the music in the truest regard to the overall sound of the band in the studio. Subsequently, there is less post-production trickery involved on the mono versions. There is also a clarity and depth to the sound quality on these albums, especially when it comes to the piano and bass, that stands apart from previous stereo versions. It's as if you can see farther into the recording, revealing a fuller aural picture of the band as a whole. For some listeners this may not matter, but ultimately, for others, it will mean that these mono remasters, whether bought individually or as a part of this box set, will be must-have additions to their collections.

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