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My Funny Valentine'
My Funny ValentineNumbered, Limited Edition
Historic Recording Captures Elegant Ballads Performed at February 1964 Concert
Audiophile Reference-Standard Sound: Album Boasts Lifelike Tones, Balances, Images, and Ambience
Davis Taps Divine Inspiration: Compositions Marked by Deep Emotions, Spontaneous Brilliance, Sensitive Beauty, and Sublime Poignancy
Miles Davis' My Funny Valentine marks several historic turning points. For Davis, the live album represents the final time on record he'd perform standards rather than original compositions. It also stands as one of the last documents made by the same band that created Seven Steps of Heaven. As such, the work teems with bebop melodicism yet steers clear of Davis' oft-controversial avant-garde leanings. Most significantly, however, the set captures the ballads performed at a benefit concert from New York's then-new Philharmonic Hall just months after President Kennedy's assassination. Tapping into a seemingly divine inspiration, Davis never sounded so elegant or poetic.
Boasting gorgeous sound and pressed on 180g LP at RTI, Mobile Fidelity's choice reissue of the trumpeter's scintillating work bookends the label's release of Four & More from the same show and features similar enhancements relating to depth, presence, dynamics, clarity, and ambience. Presented in reference-standard fidelity, the record boasts balances, tonalities, and airiness that duplicate the experience of witnessing live jazz in an acoustically ideal hall. The images of each individual instrument, the decay of the notes, the inner reaches of the piano, and symmetry of the horns-all are rendered with palpable detail. This is the very definition of reach-out-and-touch-it realism.
Staged as a benefit to support voter registration in the South, the February concert came amidst the height of the Civil Rights movement, a cause dear to Davis' heart. Yet unforeseen circumstances raised the stakes. Having professed his admiration for Kennedy years prior, Davis appears to approach the compositions on My Funny Valentine (and, in particular, the title track) as homage to the fallen leader, a collective soliloquy comprised of pieces shot through with deeply emotional passages, spontaneous brilliance, sensitive beauty, and sublime poignancy. Elegiac moods permeate the performances; Davis and his Harmon mute paint with intricate brushstrokes.
Pianist Herbie Hancock, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Tony Williams are their leader's equal, and would continue with Davis until later in the decade, helping form what's now known as the "second great quintet." But the secret weapon on both My Funny Valentine and its sister Four & More arrives in the form of tenor saxophonist George Coleman, whom jazz experts Brian Morton and Richard Cook deem "one of the unsung heroes of modern jazz." His lines are subtle and sophisticated, straight ahead but capable of unanticipated direction, and here, he comes into his own. As does the entire band.
Indeed, the combination of introspective chemistry, lyrical reach, and telepathic communication demonstrated by the quintet on My Funny Valentine arguably exceeds that on any of Davis' myriad other live efforts. One listen confirms something special transpiring, and on this Mobile Fidelity reissue, those properties are rendered in a manner that's as transparent to the source as humanly possible. Do not miss this.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. My Funny Valentine
2. All of You
3. Stella By Starlight
4. All Blues
5. I Thought About You$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Jazz At The PlazaJazz At The Plaza is another fine live recording from 1958 by the Miles Davis Sextet (this time with the classic first Miles Davis Quintet drummer Philly Joe Jones, instead of Jimmy Cobb). Recorded at the Edwardian Room of the Plaza Hotel for a bunch of record biz execs celebrating the success of Columbia Records jazz division, the crowd may have been stiff but the group was anything but, storming through "If I Were A Bell" (yes, the Guys & Dolls tune) and "Straight, No Chaser" before settling into a beautiful rendition of "My Funny Valentine", and closing out the set with Sonny Rollins' hard-bop classic, "Oleo". Reissued on LP by Doxy.1. If I Were a Bell
2. Straight, No Chaser
3. My Funny Valentine
4. Oleo$32.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Taking Liberties180 Gram Vinyl
Taking Liberties is now available on vinyl for the first time since its original release in 1980! The album has been re-mastered from the original master tapes. Taking Liberties is a compilation album, produced by Nick Lowe and mostly made up of B-sides, although it does feature two previously unreleased recordings. Gems include "Radio Sweetheart," "My Funny Valentine," "Big Tears" and "Just A Memory."1. Clean Money
2. Girls Talk
3. Talking In The Dark
4. Radio Sweetheart
5. Black And White World
6. Big Tears
7. Just A Memory
8. Night Rally
9. Stranger In The House
10. Clowntime Is Over
11. Getting Mighty Crowded
12. Hoover Factory
13. Tiny Steps
14. (I Don't Want To Go To) Chelsea
15. Dr. Luther's Assistant
16. Sunday's Best
17. Crawling To The U.S.A.
18. Wednesday Week
19. My Funny Valentine
20. Ghost Train$24.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Gerry Mulligan & Chet Baker: Carnegie Hall Concert (Speakers Corner)
The third encounter of the cool, swinging art of Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker took place in New York's Carnegie Hall on a cold November day in 1974. So-called Cool Jazz had long since arrived and become popular on the East Coast with the result that the concert hall must have been filled to the last seat. The two hadn't performed together on stage for ten years, rivalry and who knows what else had put an end to the highly successful pianoless quartet.
In spite of the enormously high expectations - the Carnegie Hall fills all musicians with awe due to the echoes of concerts given by such classical and jazz great as Artur Rubinstein, George Gershwin and their successors over many generations - every melody is wonderfully relaxed from the very first note on. This is surely due to the excellent rhythm group (with piano!). This is made up of musicians from the 'new generation' - musicians who were sucking on dummies in their prams when the two veterans came together for the first time in 1952.
Oldies such as Bernie's Tune, My Funny Valentine and Line For Lyons, and new compositions like Song For Strayhorn and Song For An Unfinished Woman constitute a successful blend both for the two performers on stage and the audience alike. And there is no experimenting - no one wants to play or hear that - however the high level of communication is tangible everywhere.
It makes sense to release the two individual LPs as a double album. What's more: the cover photo is exactly the same for both releases and you get almost 80 minutes of West Coast cool-hot jazz at its very best!
- Gerry Mulligan (bassoon)
- Chet Baker (trumpet)
- Ed Byrne (trombone)
- Bob James (piano, electric piano)
- John Scofield (guitar)
- Dave Samuels (vibraphone)
- Ron Carter (bass)
- Harvey Mason (drums)
Recording: November 1974 at Carnegie Hall, New York, by Dave Hewitt and John Venable
Production: Creed Taylor
About Speakers Corner
At the beginning of the 90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the situation was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and, of course, Speakers Corner all maintained a mutual, unwritten ethical code: we would only use analogue tapes to manufacture records.
During the course of the present vinyl hype, many others have jumped on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source to master from: CDs, LPs, digital files, MP3s - or employed existant tools from the 80s and 90s for manufacturing.
A digital delay is gladly used when cutting a lacquer disc because tape machines with an analogue delay have become quite rare and are therefore expensive. When cutting the lacquer, the audio signal is delayed by one LP revolution against the signal, which controls the cutter head, and for this a digital delay is very often employed. Of course, the resultant sound signal is completely digital and thus only as good as this delay.
We should like to emphasise that Speakers Corner Records on principle only uses the original master tape as the basis for the entirely analogue cutting of lacquer discs. In addition, the pressing tool is newly manufactured as a matter of principle. We have one digital recording in our catalogue (Alan Parsons / Eye In The Sky"), but even in this particular case we used the analogue tapes for cutting.
We only employ existing tools for manufacturing if an improved result is not forthcoming, e.g. the title Elvis Is Back, which was mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray, or several titles from our Philips Classics series, which in any case Willem Makkee cut from the original masters at the Emil Berliner Studios in the 90s. It goes without saying that we only used the mother and that new tools were made for our production.
To put it in a nutshell: we can ensure you that our releases are free from any kind of digital effects - excluding the exception above - and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. Line for Lyons
2. For an Unfinished Woman
3. My Funny Valentine
4. Song for Strayhorn
5. It's Sandy at the Beach
6. K-4 Pacific
7. There Will Never Be Another You
8. Bernie's Tune$69.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
UndercurrentUndercurrent on Numbered Limited Edition LP from Mobile Fidelity Silver Label
Introspective, Almost-Hallucinogenic 1962 Album a Pinnacle for Both Jazz Icons
Guitarist Hall Aids Pianist Evans in Rebounding from Tragedy
Diverse Set Encompasses Ballads, Waltzes, Hard-Swinging Bop
Divine Sonics: LP Mastered on Mobile Fidelity's World-Renowned Mastering System and Pressed at RTI
Bill Evans catapulted to the top of the jazz world in June 1961 after reeling off three straight masterpiece sessions at New York's Village Vanguard with his trio. Yet the emotional highs came to a screeching halt shortly thereafter when bassist Scott LaFaro died in a car accident. Devastated, Evans refrained from playing for nearly a year. If not for an inspirational collaboration of tremendous creative outpouring, one wonders what fate may have befallen Evans. Undercurrent, the outcome of two studio sessions with guitarist Jim Hall, is that project.
Mastered on Mobile Fidelity's world-renowned mastering system and pressed at RTI, this Silver Label LP edition bursts forth with brilliant textures, you-are-there realism, and extraordinary tonalities. No other version outside of this analog copy brings you face-to-face with these two jazz giants' sonic communion, a kind of spiritual musical summit on which Evans' deft keyboard touches and Hall's reliably subtle phrasings seamlessly mesh and wonderfully dance, the compositions streaked with natural instrumental decay, full-frequency extensions, and poignant emotionalism that, on this LP, you can feel.
While Evans managed to sit down for a few one-off takes between LaFaro's passing and these April-May 1962 dates, he largely remained on hiatus and abstained from recording. Whether it owes to the intimate pairing, he and Hall's brotherly chemistry, or the exquisite selection of program material, the results consistently come across as the equivalent of a private meditation-such is the level of introspective depth and quietly shaded interplay throughout. For Evans, the duet clearly functions as therapy, a healing episode in which his partner patiently lays back, shadowing moves and suggesting others, neither musician interested in the spotlight but each striving for (and achieving) transcendent beauty.
In tackling standards such as Rodgers and Hart's "My Funny Valentine" and the Broadway classic "Darn That Dream," as well as the Hall original "Romain," the pair traverses complex harmonies with the astute elegance of a figure skater. At times, Evans and Hall go for broke on a hard-swinging romps, yet it's their implied melancholy and drifting, softly struck melodic refrains on waltzes and ballads that bestows Undercurrent with a nuanced romanticism and whispered atmosphere befitting the record's title.
Indeed, even the album's cover-an iconic photograph by Toni Frissell-exhibits the surreal, almost-hallucinogenic properties of the fare contained within.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. My Funny Valentine
2. I Hear a Rhapsody
3. Dream Gypsy
5. Skating in Central Park
6. Darn That Dream$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Desmond Blue (Pure Pleasure)
As intended, this album presents alto sax specialist Paul Desmond as never featured before, with the backing of a string orchestra. The record, filled with such beautiful jazz standards as My Funny Valentine, I've Got You Under My Skin, and Body and Soul, is very rich in texture, yet subtle and mellow overall in mood. It's unyielding purpose: to soothe the souls of its listeners. Desmond's style and tone shine with an alluring quality, and the record is filled with melodies that don't fail to stimulate the sophisticated jazz listener. Desmond's melodies are eloquently detailed and charmingly spun in the midst of the string orchestra arranged and conducted by Bob Prince. The legendary Jim Hall is featured as guest guitarist, playing yet another scintillating role and using his classic comping style. Hall is perhaps the most highly respected of all jazz guitarists for his good taste and witty inventiveness. Desmond has always been most familiar to the jazz public for his sweeping scale passages and his seemingly effortless spontaneity during periods of improvisation, although here he is often featured in a more lyrical ballad style on such romantic tunes as My Funny Valentine, Late Lament, and Then I'll Be Tired of You. This album is a highly innovative and meticulously crafted work, reflecting the ongoing success of both Desmond and Hall within the 1960s and the cool jazz period. Both of these musicians spent time working with Dave Brubeck and later lent themselves to many of Antonio Carlos Jobim's bossa nova projects. The arrangements are extraordinary throughout this collection, including the charming Valentine, which begins with a fantastic Elizabethan flavor. The intro sets up the mood to carry Desmond into the first chorus, which then glides into a 20th century style. The tune I Should Care is »a shimmering debt to Ibert and one of the most imaginative blendings you will ever hear of strings, reeds, French horn and harp,« according to the liner notes. The tone of the album: lush, reflective, thought-provoking, and soul-stirring. This work is quite a plus for any listener and especially those who consider themselves avid fans of Paul Desmond.
- Paul Desmond (saxophone)
- Jim Hall (guitar)
- Bob Prince (arranger, conductor & strings)
Recording: 1962 at Webster Hall, New York City, by Ray Hall
Production: George Aviakan
Format: 2LPs 33rpm / gatefold sleeve
About Pure Pleasure
At the beginning of the 90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the situation was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and, of course, Pure Pleasure all maintained a mutual, unwritten ethical code: we would only use analogue tapes to manufacture records.
During the course of the present vinyl hype, many others have jumped on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source to master from: CDs, LPs, digital files, MP3s - or employed existent tools from the 80s and 90s for manufacturing.
We should like to emphasize that Pure Pleasure Records on principle only uses the original master tape as the basis for the entirely analogue cutting of lacquer discs. In addition, the pressing tool is newly manufactured as a matter of principle.
To put it in a nutshell: we can ensure you that our releases are free from any kind of digital effects and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. My Funny Valentine
2. Desmond Blue
3. Then I'll Be Tired of You
4. I've Got You Under My Skin
5. Late Lament
6. I Should Care
7. Like Someone In Love
8. Ill Wind
9. Body and Soul$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Four & MoreExhilarating and Immediate: Live Set Documents One of Davis Final Excursions With a Program of Standards
Hear the Interior of Philharmonic Hall at New Yorks Lincoln Center Come Alive: Mobile Fidelitys Fastidious Reissue Illuminates Venue Acoustics, Musicians Phrasings
Whirlwind Uptempo Pace Prodded by Tenor Saxophonist George Coleman and Drummer Tony Williams
Sketches of Spain, Kind of Blue, Milestones, Round About Midnight, and In a Silent Way Also Available from Mobile Fidelity
Given his gargantuan recorded output, Miles Davis seldom abandoned a conceptual vision in the studio, particularly after the turn of the 1960s. Which makes a live document such as Four & More all the more valuable for the manner in which it portrays the legendary trumpeter removed from thematic demands and interior confines, and instead letting loose onstage with a program of stellar material that hed soon abandon in favor of experimentalism.
Part of Mobile Fidelitys Miles Davis catalog restoration series, Four & More engages with electrifying speed and palpable punch, the effort now claiming vastly improved imaging, deeper soundstaging, and startling clarity. Half-speed mastered from the original master tapes and pressed at RTI, this unsurpassed analog edition teems with the urgency demonstrated by Davis and his band notes flooding the listener with an attack only possible from sound featuring full frequency extension, tremendous spacing, and you-are-there immediacy.
Recorded on February 12, 1964 in Philharmonic Hall at New Yorks Lincoln Center, Four & More bookends My Funny Valentine. Whereas the latter spotlights ballads, this thrilling souvenir is all about quick tempos, rushing solos, left-hook rhythms, and hard-bop grooves. Drawing largely on mid- and late-1950s material, Davis accompanied by bassist Ron Carter, drummer Tony Williams, saxophonist George Coleman, and pianist Herbie Hancock approaches standards such as So What, Seven Steps to Heaven, and Four with biting tenacity and furious passion, the individual themes racing by as the collective barges in to take rapid, punctuation-asserting solos.
Few, if any, live Davis performances match the hurricane-generating intensity and dynamic aggressiveness captured here. One reason for the vigor? Davis waived he and his musicians fees for the concert, taking place under the auspices of a political benefit, a decision that angered some of his sidemen. Whatever the cause, Hancock swings, Coleman flexes muscles, Carter bows instructive passages, and the 19-year-old phenom Williams throws down with breathtaking agility. Amidst the melodic tangents and galloping exchanges, the quintet retains gripping control, with eight-bar dialogues between the instrumentalists and positive vamps supplying cues and endings.
At last, these historic recordings are afforded the breathing room and acoustic perspective they've always deserved. For listeners that may be unfamiliar with this title, prepare to be blown away literally and figuratively. Aficionados know what to expect on the music front, but Mobile Fidelitys 180g LP reissue ratchets up the thrills by several levels. Don't miss this gem.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. So What
6. Seven Steps to Heaven
7. There Is No Greater Love
8. Go-Go$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Chet Baker Sings (Out Of Stock)Chet Baker made his musical debut in 1952 as an integral member of Gerry Mulligan's modernist piano-less quartet, by all accounts marking the beginning of the post-bop West Coast style. So it came as quite a surprise when Baker made his singing debut on this seminal 1954 release at the age of 24. Baker's sideline singing here reveals his songful roots in the swing of Harry James and other formative influences while the innocence of his All-American vocals make for an eerily cool listening experience as well as an authentically satisfying one. Throughout, pianist Russ Freeman's warm, solid touch serves as the perfect foil for Baker's affectless romanticism as heard to stunning affect on the definitive version of My Funny Valentine found herein.1. That Old Feeling
2. It's Always You
3. Like Someone In Love
4. My Ideal
5. I've Never Been In Love Before
6. My Buddy
7. But Not For Me
8. Time After Time
9. I Get Along Without You Very Well
10. My Funny Valentine
11. There Will Never Be Another You
12. Thrill Is Gone
13. I Fall In Love To Easily
14. Look For The Silver Lining$27.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Temporarily out of stock
What Is There To Say? (Out Of Stock)Numbered Limited Edition
Mastered by Bernie Grundman from the Original Analog Master Tapes and Pressed at RTI
Only 2500 Numbered Limited Edition Copies Housed in Deluxe Laminated Double Gatefold Jackets
Originally released in 1959, What Is There To Say? finds baritonist/leader Gerry Mulligan in a pianoless quartet with Art Farmer (trumpet), Bill Crow (bass) and Dave Bailey (drummer). The memorable set features 8 tracks highlighted by the cuts What Is There to Say, Just in Time, Festive Minor, My Funny Valentine and Utter Chaos.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. What Is There To Say
2. Just In Time
3. News From Blueport
4. Festive Minor
5. As Catch Can
6. My Funny Valentine
8. Utter Chaos$54.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl 45 RPM LP - 2 LPs Sealed Temporarily out of stock
Cookin' With The Miles Davis Quintet (Mono) (Out Of Stock)Cookin' was the first classic album to be released from the famed extended recording sessions of the Miles Davis Quintet (Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Red Garland, Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones) in 1956, wherein they taped the band's basic repertoire in the manner of nightclub sets rather than the repetition of the usual studio takes. From the muted eloquence of My Funny Valentine, to the finger-poppin' Blues By Five, and the urgent swing of Airegin and Tune Up, Cookin' has the ability to thrill the listener no matter how many times it is played, the mark of an all-time great performance. Davis is quoted as saying he called this album Cookin because thats what we did, came in and cooked.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. Airegin
2. Tune Up
3. Blues By Five
4. My Funny Valentine$39.99200 Gram Audiophile Virgin Mono Vinyl - Sealed Temporarily out of stock