Miles Davis Sextet “Some Day My Prince Will Come” (1961)

Fontana-Miles-Prince-Cover-1920-LJC

Track Selection: Pfrancing

Artists

Miles Davis (tp) Hank Mobley (ts) Wynton Kelly (p) Paul Chambers (b) Jimmy Cobb (d) recorded Columbia 30th Street Studios, NYC, March 7 & 20-1, 1961) John Coltrane (ts title track)

Music:

M is for…mmm…Mobley, who joins the Miles Davis Quintet for the only recorded studio session to feature Hank and Miles together, and  rhythm section par excellence. But wait! Just because one good thing happens doesn’t mean two good things can’t happen. Hello, Mr Coltrane! Mouth-watering line up, I could almost feel the credit card jumping up and down in my wallet, shouting “Beat me, beat me, I can take it! Hit me again!”

The selected track Pfrancing  is named after Miles’s wife Frances, who is the lady featured on the  album cover. It has an alternative title “No Blues”, which is how it appears in his discography. Coltrane appears on two other tracks but not this one, which Mobley has pwnd (Yeah, I speak gamer). Wynton Kelly seriously swings.

Vinyl:1st UK  release Fontana TFL 5172,  originally issued as US Columbia CL 1656

UK Fontana,  pressed by Phillips.

The cover remains as the US Columbia release – how could it not, graced by Mrs Miles Davis? You can imagine the record company conversation. “Miles, the broad on the cover, we need to ditch her. For Europe, I recommend a well-upholstered  blonde, maybe in tight sweater and lederhosen? Oh. I see. The lady stays Mr Davis, sir, of course.” Beautiful picture of Miles on the rear cover too. A non-smoking cover is not available.

(For the record, Miles had four wives. Frances Taylor, featured on the above cover and who he married in 1958,  was Wife 2.0 , upgraded by Cecily Tyson Wife 3.0 However by 1968 he married Betty Mabry, aged 23, Wife 4.0  That wasn’t to last either, and there are various children by each marriage and some in between. Just because a man plays good trumpet doesn’t mean he is succesful in relationships. “Women get too frisky on you,” Davis says. “I don’t like it when women get like that. They get frisky and out of hand”  I say “projection”. Reads like Miles was the one who was frisky.)

 

Fontana-Miles-Prince-Back-1920-LJC

Collectors Corner

Record number two of the three UK originals from the shop I don’t usually go into. Though we can all be creatures of habit, and the familiar is comforting, the most interesting things often happen when once in a while we step off the usual path. Only don’t get carried away. There are often good reasons for the path being where it is.

UPDATE July 9, 2016: US COLUMBIA LABELS

1. CL 1656 Mono Six-Eye CBS overprint – 1A/1D stampers, P Pitman NJ press

CL1656-Miles-Someday-label-s1-1000-LJC2. CS 8456 Stereo Six-Eye CBS overprint – 1A/1H stamper, P Pitman NJ press

CS8456-Miles-Someday-label-s1-1000-LJC

3. Alternative typesetting condensed font, stampers not identified (Discogs upload)

Columbia 6 eye Miles Prince Label Discogs 1000

4. Later Two-Eye pressing –  Pitman NJ pressing, 1D/1J stampers

CS8456-Miles-Someday-2EYE--label-s1-1000-LJC

Reefer Madness.

5. 1B stamper copy which shows  two-line title.

1B according to conventional wisdom is one of Columbia’s three regional manufacturing centres, probably Terre Haute. 1B is a cutting from the original matrix, as is 1A and 1C, no reason the be precious about this, a “first pressing” in a regionally distributed manufacturing system.

Miles label Sam B 1000

Photo Credit: Sam B

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21 thoughts on “Miles Davis Sextet “Some Day My Prince Will Come” (1961)

  1. as you can find here: https://londonjazzcollector.wordpress.com/record-labels-guide/columbia-records/columbia-us-labels/
    “as written before I’ve seen only one copy without CBS (and no DG), one copy only WITH DG and CBS, all others were CBS and no DG.
    a copy WITH DG and no CBS would be considered the rarest Davis six eyes, but I never encountered it.”
    mine, mono, is: six eyes, CBS at twelve, NO DG, title in 3 lines, XLP53313-1A (side 1) and XLP53314-1C (side 2).
    can anyone go any further?

    • my contribution can only be limited (my sealed copy does not reveal the codes in the dead wax without breaking the seal).
      Nevertheless: CBS at noon, title in two lines, M.D. in smaller letters thereunder. Looks like no DG.
      CS 8456: CBS at noon, 1B/1H, no DG.

      • sealed copy? I’ve got two but they are recent issues so I don’t have to search for anything inside.
        instead, for vintage issues:
        fix a compass in the exact center of the cover
        draw a circle of 12 cm diameter
        get a cutter and remove a circle of front/back cover, and possibly inner sleeve
        take the window away and you have direct access to label and etchings without unsealing the artifact
        ingenious, isn’t it?
        laugh!

        • Not bad as an idea, but too ingenious for Columbia. At Columbia, you simply pull out the record in its sealed plastic inner. It has a perforated part to tear off and break the seal, as simple as that. Ciao, dottore.

  2. Doctor I need some help. Got a beautiful mono ’61 press of this last night. Problem is I see multiple mono ’61 pressings – some with the title in more block letter font, some with record title in three lines, mine is in two. Someone told me the first press has DG but I’m not seeing that online. Curious what the story is. I can tell you this: Mono, CL1656, “CBS” at 12 o’clock, 6-eye (that’s a given), album title in thin black lettering, in two lines: “Someday My/Prince Will Come”

    First? or no? Either way I can tell you the price was wonderfully right. NM-, sounds gorgeous, especially that opening cut with Trane. I kinda don’t care but I am curious – did I get a “first press” or a later ’61 press?

    • The difference in typesetting on the label is due to the fact that Columbia had multiple pressing plants, therefore there is not just one “first” pressing as they came from the different pressing plants simultaneously.

      • The Doctor will see you now. Nurse – screens! We need to take a closer look. Cough please?… And again?

        See if this helps. I have posted up, as an update above, labels of my three US Columbia copies (including the UK Fontana I have four copies in total).

        As Aaron says, pressing was at east west and central US plants. A to Pitman NJ, B to Terre Haute Indiana, and C to Santa Maria CA from memory, one assumes printing labels locally, fact-checker is off on long-term sick due to overwork and stress.

        We need some crowd-sourced knowledge from other pressings, if anyone has early stamper codes and other pressing plant identifiers, tell us what you have, and how the typesetting runs – two or thee lines. And anything else you notice different. This could be interesting (just not very). If anyone wanted to send in photo, that would be good too.

        Now, I’ve got the results of your tests from the lab, sit down Bink, please, I’m afraid it’s not good. You are suffering from chronic First Pressing Anxiety Syndrome.There are a few experimental treatments available but there in no known long term cure. For temporary relief, I recommend buying more copies of every one of your records. We have a Support Group – First Pressing Fundamentalists Anonymous.. They meet every week with our other therapy group, Recovering Audiophile Collectors

          • Mother/stamper codes tell a story, no one really knows what they mean, but A B C D have to be “early” by any stretch, and XYZ or whatever must be later. Not exactly perfect science but sometimes all we have to go on.

            • Update, checked my runout last night. Here’s what I have: XLP53313-1B

              Thin Black Lettering, Title in two lines.

              Listened again last night, it’s a thing of beauty.

              • Sam B has sent in a picture of his copy, 1B stampers like yours, title text in two lines, like yours(see upload n5 above) Conventional wisdom is that 1A B C is first press in Columbia’s regionally distributed manufacturing system, probably Terre Haute. I think you should open a bottle of something nice, repair to the listening room, and enjoy your “first pressing”.

                I love this record, it belongs up there with Kind of Blue and Blue Train, not lumped in with just “another Miles album”.

  3. Just returned from LA with a copy of this – CL8456 US Columbia 360 Sound – sounds awesome to me…does it get the nod of approval?

    • Columbia US pressing is generally best but is your 8456: CL or CS ?

      Goldmine list this as CS 8456, reissued four times between 1961 and 1971 – two on 360 sound, one black on label and one white on label.

      Always read the label. Gets my thumbs up, anyway.

  4. another miles fave! yeah, what a cover… as you prefered the stereo six-eyes version of “kind of blue” what’s your take on this session, mono vs. stereo?

    • I worship in the Church of Columbia. 30th St, and stereo is my preferred listening mode to Miles Columbia years recordings. Inch by inch I am replacing my UK Fontana/CBS mono with US Columbia Stereo. Filles de Kilimanjaro US Columbia 360 degree sound stereo two-eye is in the post to me as we speak. As much as I prefer my Blue Note mono, I prefer my Columbia stereo. I think it’s the acoustics of the 30th St Studios creates this extraordinary spacious sound that fills my listening room, can’t explain it any other way.

  5. I have always loved this album — especially the Spanish inflected TEO (available in several scorching versions as NEO on the live Blackhawk set). Cobb’s edgy propulsive percussion just cranks the tension higher and higher.

    And the cover. That wicked raised eyebrow. Sexy, sceptical, take-no-shit.

    The whole damn thing makes me want several freezing cold martinis that have only glanced at the vermouth bottle, a couple of packs of unfiltered cigarettes (probably Luckies) and a bloody steak that has my name on it just being dropped on the griddle. Out-front the car-hop has just parked my 1960 Chevy Impala (white).

    Amazing, really, because I can’t drive, no longer drink, and rarely eat meat. I’ll take the cigarettes and Frances, however, and consider it a good deal.

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