Miles Davis - Miles In The Sky [2LP] (180 Gram 45RPM Audiophile Vinyl, limited/numbered)

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TAS Super LP List! Special Merit: Informal

Numbered, Limited Edition 180g 45rpm 2LP from Mobile Fidelity!

Mastered from the 1/4" / 15 IPS Analog Master to DSD 256 to Analog Console to Lathe & Pressed at RTI!

1968 Record Marks First Time Davis Uses Electric Piano, Bass, and Guitar: Second Half is Acoustic

Mastered from the 1/4" / 15 IPS Analog Master to DSD 256: Seminal Proto-Fusion Effort Explodes With Color and Vibrancy

Final Effort With Davis' Classic Second Quintet Finds the Leader Looking to the Past and the Future

Miles in the Sky reflects the intriguing curiosities and rainbow possibilities suggested by the album cover. Miles Davis' fifth and final album with his classic second quintet is kaleidoscopic in sound, forward-looking in structure, and contextually grounded in approach. As the legendary leader's first venture into what would become fusion, it's historical for containing the premier appearances of electric piano, bass, and guitar on a Davis effort. Laden with rich textures and style-bridging elements, Mobile Fidelity's 45RPM pressing brings the aural magic into focus.

Mastered from the 1/4" / 15 IPS analog master to DSD 256 and pressed on 180g vinyl at RTI, this collectable audiophile version of Miles in the Sky joins the ranks of eleven other essential Davis sets given supreme sonic and packaging treatment by Mobile Fidelity. Afforded the benefits provided by the record's wider grooves, Davis' burnished trumpet resounds with utmost clarity, and the soundstage seems to extend for days. Reference-caliber separation and imaging give each musician their own space, allowing every passage to come across without any sonic limitations.

The album's wide-open soundscapes soar. As do the fluid contributions of Davis' mates. Tony Williams' percussion, central to every composition here, transpires before your eyes. Herbie Hancock's piano hovers and fades with sublime purity. And George Benson, who sits on "Paraphernalia," blows the equivalent of smoke rings with his bluesy guitar, which here takes on brilliant tonality and definition. The acoustic material that occupies the second half of the record is equally transparent and full-bodied.

Granted enhanced production and a greater field of audible information, Miles in the Sky can finally be perceived as belonging to the same upper echelon as Davis' ubiquitously acclaimed Nefertiti and Filles de Kilimanjaro--the albums that precede and follow, respectively, this watershed title. Commonly branded a "transitional" work, Miles in the Sky showcases Davis already at ease with electric instruments and eager to venture into uncharted territories. Doubling as organized jams and bridges between jazz and rock, both the rhythmically challenging "Stuff" and frisky "Paraphernalia" glancing toward the future while keeping solid footing in the past.

Similarly, so do "Country Boy" and "Black Comedy." In his original review for jazz authority DownBeat, Larry Kart observes: "Davis takes material from his earlier days and darkens its emotional tone. His opening phrase on ‘Country Boy' recalls a fragment from his "Summertime" solo on the Porgy and Bess album, but here it is delivered with a vehemence that rejects the poignancy of the earlier performance. Even on ‘Black Comedy,' his most straightahead solo here, the orderly pattern of the past is displaced and fragmented."

Flavored with humor, bossa nova, country, and even ballroom phrases, the compositions on Miles in the Sky explodes with creativity, purpose, and color.

Mo-Fi's Miles reissues keep coming. Porgy and Bess another atmospheric Miles-Gil Evans collaboration dropped early 2020. While all of these Miles albums are musically significant and many are sonically excellent on both original pressings and on these reissues, the biggest sonic surprise was how much better the reissued quintet (Shorter, Hancock, Carter, Williams) recordings sound compared to the originals. Whatever happened in the original mastering has been vastly improved on Nefertiti, Miles in the Sky and Filles De Kilimanjaro. If you have originals and think, you're covered, you're not! Get these while you can.
-Michael Fremer, Analog Planet's Best Reissues of the Decade, March 2020

Features:
• Numbered, Limited Edition
• 45rpm Speed Edition
• Mastering by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab
• Specially Plated and Pressed on 180 grams of High Definition Vinyl
• Double LP
• Special Static Free - Dust Free Inner Sleeve
• Heavy Duty Protective Packaging
• Mastered from the 1/4" / 15 IPS Analog Master to DSD 256 to Analog Console to Lathe
• Pressed at RTI

Musicians:
Miles Davis, trumpet
Wayne Shorter, tenor saxophone
Herbie Hancock, piano, electric piano
Ron Carter, bass
Tony Williams, drums
George Benson, electric guitar on "Paraphernalia"

Selections:
LP 1 - Side 1:

1. Stuff
LP 1 - Side 2:
1. Paraphernalia

LP 2 - Side 3:
1. Black Comedy
LP 2 - Side 4:
1. Country Son

2015 Mobile Fidelity