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Miles Davis: Live-Evil

Miles Davis: Live-Evil

Sony Music  SICJ-10012

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid

Jazz


Miles Davis

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Comment by Downunderman - March 12, 2020 (1 of 3)

Phew, what a thing this is!

The previous Columbia SACD issued in 2001 was based on the Bob Belden 1997 remix/Remastered by Tom Ruff/Engineered for SACD by Mark Wilder.

This one advises "Mastering Engineer: Mark Wilder/Koji Suzuki" - No other information is provided.

Not having heard the 2001 SACD I can't even speculate if we are looking at the same source. But given the lack of added reverb it is probably safe to say we are NOT looking at the original Teo Macero master.

I can only really comment on the stereo as I am not a multi channel person. As an aside though, the chatter around the various electronic campfires seems to be highly approving of the multi channel (Quad) version here.

It has that signature clean Japanese sound, is surprisingly detailed for a mostly live recording of this era and whilst leaning towards being thin sounding it is fuller sounding than I was expecting. It also flirts with being a shade too bright for mine, but not by much. Sonically overall it is an excellent listen.

Also surprising for me was that my wife really liked the album - even without knowing anything about the backstory surrounding its creation.

The 7 inch gatefold cover is a thing of glowing beauty - almost worth the asking price in its own right. As befits an album such as this, even the artwork has a backstory: Turns out that Miles wanted a toad to represent evil on the back cover and the artist looked around for inspiration and came up with J Edgar Hoover in drag as his toad! Brilliant.

Nb. I'm really hoping that Mark does a proper review. There is so much to explore here (including the cellar door dates that were subsequently issued in their own right), that it really needs his masterful erudite touch to do justice to the material.

Comment by Mark Werlin - March 26, 2020 (2 of 3)

Downunderman: please contact me through mwerlin@hraudio.net to discuss Live-Evil and related Miles Davis recordings.

Quad fans give high ratings to this new Japanese SACD: https://www.quadraphonicquad.com/forums/threads/davis-miles-live-evil-sacd.27799/

Comment by Downunderman - May 16, 2020 (3 of 3)

Many, many thanks to Mark for putting me in touch with the relevant CD from the Cellar Door Sessions - No easy feat. And for his insights.

Having now listened (Stereo Only) to both I can report that the sound quality is very different;

Volume levels (compared to the JSACD) are similar, but things are very different sonically after that.

That in the venue sound you get from live albums of this era and which is present on the cellar door disk, is dialled right back on the JSACD live evil. It is very clean sounding in comparison.

Compared to the Cellar Door the JSACD has the following relative SQ characteristics;
- Sonic detail is significantly increased and instruments are much more cleanly defined.
- Percussion in particular is much more noticeable, having been brought up in the mix.
- Bass is tighter and not at all bloated or muddy or as far forward.
- The positioning of instruments on the sound stage more generally, seems improved (with the exception of the percussion!).

To quote Mark;
"Although I haven’t heard the JSACD, I do have the original Columbia 2-LP set of Live-Evil. To my ears, Mark Wilder’s remix of the 8-channel live tapes definitely sounds more punchy than the original mix, especially the bass and drums. The JSACD two-channel program was sourced either from actual original stereo master tapes, or from safety copies. Those masters were intended for pressing LPs, which at that time could not support the deep and muddy Fender bass, Ampeg SVT amp sound of Michael Henderson as it really was heard in the club. (I saw the Cellar Door band a couple of months before the Cellar Door engagement, in 1970 in Los Angeles — it was a din, but an amazing group. Airto’s percussion could only be heard during quieter passages.) Master tapes of that era also emphasized the high end. Teo Macero did a lot of work in the creation of those masters that couldn’t possibly be recreated from the 8-channel live recordings. So all of that original work could account for some of the sonic qualities of the JSACD."

It is certainly not reasonable to directly compare Cellar Door artistically with Live-Evil, in that whilst there are some common ingredients they have been seasoned and baked differently – both excellent, but not the same thing.

In listening to both, an indication of this is that you can hear what is missing from Live-Evil.....Melody. Teo & Miles edited the melodies out.

Get both.