Side A: Sextet: Miles Davis (tp) J.J. Johnson (tb) Lucky Thompson (ts) Horace Silver (p) Percy Heath (b) Kenny Clarke (d) Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, April 29, 1954
Track Selection “Walkin'” (long, 13:15)
Side B: Quintet: Miles Davis (tp) Dave Schildkraut (as) Horace Silver (p) Percy Heath (b) Kenny Clarke (d) Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, April 3, 1954
Track Selection: “Solar” featuring David Schildkraut on alto
Miles in transition: 1954 – classy old-school players including JJ Johnson, Lucky Thompson, Horace Silver and David Schildkraut (on track selection “Solar”), soon to be replaced by the arrival of the New Miles Davis Quintet – introducing Red Garland and some up and coming young tenor player called John Coltrane. Miles sought the best new talent, in a similar fashion to Art Blakey, providing up and coming musicians a space in which to establish themselves before moving on. Sadly, Schildkraut disappeared off the scene, but his solo on alto on Solar is a delight of economy and elegance.
Vinyl: PRLP 7076
Well, is it or isn’t it original Prestige? It has common parentage with the recent Quinichette/Coltrane posting – the “quarter”-sized die imprint on Side Two.(or “sixpence” as we Brits say, immortalised by Tommy Steele in the Sixties musical “Half a Sixpence”)
It is clearly not the first press on NYC labels. But is it a “genuine” second press on NJ labels? Goldmine identifies an address change from NYC to NJ as a 1958 release (at half the value)
The stamper matrix code looks right, with hand-written RVG initials, and an AB (Abbey pressing plant?) inscribed at 5 o’clock on Side One. A very light deep groove as the vinyl is not especially heavy. Indeed all my Prestiges have a similar mid-weight.
There is no formal reissue number in the matrix, which was the stereo release PRST 7608 (in 1969) and it is not the much later OJC reissue. My educated guess is this is the 1958 mono 2nd press on NJ labels, in an original jacket still showing the NYC address of the first pressing. Phew!! It’s an original second pressing, from the same pressing plant as the Quinichette (same quarter-size die-imprint on one side)
What the significance is of the letter “H” next to RVG I am not sure, but in all probability it is a reference to the stamper of origin, as I have other similar Prestiges with different letters in the same position.(Incidently, marks in the deadwax are enhanced through layers in Photoshop to make them more visible, in case you might be thinking they are somehow magically white)
From a London suburban specialist 50’s/60s record shop where the proprietor occasionally shows me his near-mint pair of Blue Notes Lexingtons, at eyewatering prices, just in case I come up on the Euro Millions one day. In the mean time he has a good eye for collectible jazz. This one was a score from last year, but the recent questions about identifying “original Prestige” records caused me to rummage through my small Prestige collection in search of better answers than “I don’t know, probably”
The Prestige research is taking shape, and will be published in the Prestige pages before the weekend is out. There is a sorely needed body of knowledge about Prestige, in the shadow of increasingly unaffordable Blue Note. In the mean time, enjoy.