Track 2: Dear Old Stockholm
Miles Davis (tp) John Coltrane (ts) Red Garland (p) Paul Chambers (b) Philly Joe Jones (d) arr Gil Evans / Teo Macero, recorded at Columbia Studio D, NYC, October 26, 1955, Columbia 30th Street Studios, NYC, June 5 & September 10, 1956
The original Miles Davis Quintet with the young everybody, widely recognized by jazz critics as a landmark album in hard bop and one of the greatest jazz albums of all time. Round about Midnight was Miles debut album for Columbia, being under contract to Prestige. The young Coltrane can be heard can be heard reaching for the “sheets of sound” that would emerge in the following years.
Vinyl: Philips BBL 7140 UK original release of Columbia CL949
Lovely moody photo of Miles on the cover, though the leading apostrophe in “round” is missing. Remedial class.
At around 240 gram, it is the heaviest record I own, yet despite its heavyweight, characteristically quiet. Philips in these early days often require 10-15% push up in volume to sound right. The record is a little crackly, but in quite a charming way in keeping with its age, like an old photograph yellowed with age, with dog-eared corners.
Around the spindle hole you see the legend R/T, which was the UK Purchase Tax category at that period prior to the introduction of the ubiquitous VAT – Value Added Tax – which like most government schemes uses a name or description which is the opposite of what it says it is.VAT is a tax on purchases which subtracts value by increasing the price, but they would prefer you to think they are doing you a favour, adding value.
Patrician advice organisations pointing out the obvious to the ill-informed public, Philips (bottom left corner) recommend you store this record in an upright position with the back pointing in the direction of the arrow, facing the back of the cabinet. Best played while sipping a cup of tea, which in polite circles should be held level with the thumb and index finger through the handle and the smallest finger – the pinkie – pointing outwards.
Sitting in the shelf of a London suburban record store specialising in Sixties rock and pop, the staple diet of all second-hand vinyl stores. If it wasn’t for the appetite for Sixties rock and pop most of these stores would be gone, and the jazz shelf with them. Though eBay is the true ultimate market place it has all the accompanying anxieties of trust in sellers descriptions, the vagaries of post and packing, and the vertiginous price when Moscow and Tokyo take an interest. Nothing quite like holding the record and judging for yourself the condition of the vinyl. Surface noise yes, but no serious scratches, and a nice historical artefact fifty-six years old.
Records are the new antiques, with the added bonus you can play them – bit like using a Ming vase for its original purpose, to display a bunch of Spring daffodils or a bouquet of Summer roses.
Postscript – thanks to a prod from Jan and Justin below I checked the Popsike provenance. Just as well I did. The US Columbia (six eye) is indeed red, whilst the British is blue. Worse, the British is extremely rare and sold last September for a remarkable sum:
Ooops. Call the cops, there has been a robbery. No need for the cuffs; I’ll come quietly.
Central Criminal Court Case: US vs UK cover
Simon says the British cover has dodgy retouching, an offence against Section One of the Unnecessary Retouching of Cover Art Act, Sub-section Two, Musical Instruments; Paragraph Three, Brass and Woodwind.
Call peoples Exhibit One, the covers.
Crikey! There is a whole new trumpet grafted on. And the producers girfriend, commissioned to bend the record title on a wavy line, in the process has lost the leading apostrophe present in the original word ” (a)round”, leading to confusion between an approximation of the time twelve o’clock in the evening and a road traffic management arrangement, a “round about” , a criminal typographical error.
The Prosecution rests.