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i am not even go to buy this because almost every Miles boxset has been a disapointment. People pay silly prices for material which is deemed inferior. Even Miles said that when he died the record companies would relese all this stuff at extortionate prices. Most of the tracks are just meaningless jams which start nowhere and fizzle out. They also REPEAT the ORIGINAL recording as one of the discs (which is pointless !!).
The liner notes of SILENT WAY boxset are written in white on a yellow background and in small print !! How on earth can anyone read that !!!!
The ORIGINAL Miles recordings are fine and provide more than enough substance. We don't need anymore regerjutated inferior out-takes !!
Its all just a money scam !!!
I can only agree with you to an extent on the points you make, two of which I would comment on.
Alternate takes of previously-released recordings can provide valuable insight into the creative process.
Reissues can offer the material, in one form or another, to successive generations of musiclovers who might otherwise not have reason to catch up to true milestones that deserve their attention.
Thank you for your reply. i have been out of the UK for a couple of months.
Yes, i will agree that the odd little gem can be discovered in a small handful of the Miles boxet re-issues (eg. Little Blue Frog, the bossa nova version of Silent Way, and also the 60 x second introduction to the 5/4 tune Splash). But these are too few and far between.
Hello Paul and Doug,
In 1978, Miles Davis made a deal with Sony-Japan to release a 20LP set of unissued music. He was paid a huge sum of money. He approved the selections.
We used everything he approved. I saw the contract.
Nothing Miles Davis or his musicians recorded was inferior. If you feel anything is inferior you can still discuss this with the musicians themselves. I am sure Wayne or Herbie or Chick or Jack would appreciate your informed analysis. When we found unreleased music we sent to all of the musicians on the track and they loved the music and consented to issuing the music. And they were paid as well.
Keep in Mind that all the LPs issued from 1967-71 were all creations of Teo Macero, not Miles. Only on "Bitches Brew" did Miles sit with Teo and supervise
the editing. Teo selected the final takes and the order that they came from.
Miles was well aware of the need for companies to release all of the music. He was proud of his tenure at Columbia. HE WANTED EVERYTHING TO COME OUT in order to prove the vast nature of his mind. He made deals up to the day he died for unissued music.
Miles recorded music and let the company determine the LP configuration. He was not concerned about sales as he 'owed' Columbia hundreds of thousands of dollars well into the 1970s as his royalty rate was 2¢ per side, upped to 6¢ in 1971.
It remained at 6¢ until the late 70s, when George Butler, fearing Miles would leave the label, upped the rate to 9¢ per side, or 18¢ per LP. Do the math.
Miles was paid $5000 for Kind of Blue. Coltrane and the rest $160!
Each musician on "Bitches Brew" made a total of $215 for the 2-LP set. Union scale.
As far an alternate takes, again, Teo Macero made the decisions not based on anything but how Miles sounded. It was his opinion that determined what was issued and what was not.
What about "Fun" (composed by Gil Evans and the original title was "Gil's Waltz", "Circle in the Round", "Directions", the alternates from "Milestones". If any other band had made those tracks their own the would be considered geniuses.
For each alternate or unissued track you dismiss others may find them fascinating.
You should have heard what we didn't issue. The two alternate takes of "Nefertiti"
as an example. There are two more takes of "Miles Runs the Voodoo Down" from the "Bitches Brew" sessions.
Enjoy music. Its not a sport. And its not a scam. Its all on the up and up, with the estate and the musicians all involved in the process.
Now think for one minute about the concept of a Large, Multinational Corporation with absolutely no real interest in jazz music to allow us to treat Miles like Mozart
and create an overview of a body of work at the level that we did. Unprecedented.
If you have ever worked with these companies (and I have worked directly with every one of them) then you should be grateful for the opportunity to make your comments with the audio information available. This will never happen again in our
lifetimes as the concept of artistry has lost value in our modern society.
If you could point out, in great detail, exactly which tracks are inferior, cite the actual bar number of include the chord changes, then I could take your views somewhat seriously.
Thanks for the detailed explanation, Bob. With all due respect to Paul and Doug (a valued AAJ contributor), personally speaking I've been absolutely enthralled by the bonus material that's come out over the years. At worst, it provides a window into the recording process, and encourages some consideration as to why a specific take was ultimately selected over others. At best, it's damn fine material, plain and simple.
As a person for whom music is beyond addiction (for me, a pathology), the more I can get of an artist I love, the better. Nobody bitches about the alternate takes added to so many Blue Note releases, but I suppose Miles can be something of a target. And for those who aren't interested, it's easy enough to vote with their wallets without making (sorry, Paul) uninformed assumptions about the reissue process. Why not just say "not interested, thanks," instead of the add-on venom?
While I will say that I won't be buying the trumpet case with all the metal spine boxes (have 'em all, and the trumpet case is simply too dear for this poor sap!), when new editions come with significant new material, I'm absolutely wanting to hear it - and (shameless plug) review it, if it's possible to obtain review copies, as I did the Seven Steps and On the Corner boxes.
Each to their own, but for me I think you folks are doing a wonderful job, and thanks for taking the time to write and clarify. Meanwhile, let's hear that alternate of Nefertiti, and additional BB material. I suppose the only gripe I've got is that boxes are released with titles "The Complete [fill in the blank]," only to turn out NOT to be complete, as the new BB box makes clear. So why is that might be a better question - is new material showing up?
"the streamlined three-disc Legacy Edition, includes the DVD, but not the audio-only live CD."
So we should feel indebted and consider this a real dedication to honoring a genius and not a cheap marketing ploy to make fans double-dip?
Some valid points by all here, but I would just say this - the reason for including the actual album at the end of these box sets is so that they become a definitive article. They can't be that if they miss the final product.
Mr Belden, thank you for your words, they're much appreciated. My view is some of the sets are much better than others, but again they all depend on what you want. In the end, if you think they're not much value, the answer is simple - don't buy it.
Jared C. Balogh
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