Selection : the contest:
The Theme (Take 1) – Prestige original pressing (1:57)
The Theme (Take 1) – Esquire UK release pressing (1:57)
The acid test is to get one to run just out of synch with the other, and see if you notice any difference. Damned if I can on the PC. You will be glad to know I have run the Prestige versus Esquire argument into the ground, so this is the last time. Enough of the competition, now on with the music!
Track Selection: In your own Sweet Way (Dave Brubeck) – from the Esquire
Miles Davis (tp) John Coltrane (ts) Red Garland (p) Paul Chambers (b) Philly Joe Jones (d) recorded Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, May 11, 1956
One of no less than four albums recorded in 1956 by The Miles Davis Quintet, with John Coltrane. Walkin’ , Steamin’ , Cookin’ and Workin’: the Four Horsemen of the Apostrophe. The Quintet 1956-8 was one of the definitive hard bop groups of all modern jazz, along with the Brown-Roach Quintet and the Jazz Messengers. Wind the clock back to 1956 and enjoy a different time and place.
The Prestige cover (right) I never had, and still don’t have. Instead the UK Esquire turned up, and why not give it a go? But I would really like a nice copy of this cover. Very cool. Look at the Esquire. Blue font on green background. Basic rule of graphic design and typography – readability – fail.
Esquire:Esquire 32-108, a 235 gm monster, probably heaviest record in my collection.
Prestige: around 160gm, a flyweight in comparison
Verdict: It’s no knockout. Esquire captures a solidity of bass which the Prestige fails to match. Esquire takes it on points for sound, but total fail on the strength of the cover. I would declare Prestige the outright winner, but for the small matter of money, as the Esquire cost only £20. I call it a draw.
Forensic inspection: – they are “twins”. They are not similar, they are not close, they are twins, the same father and mother, just a different stamper. (Click picture to view full screen at 1600 px.)
The original Prestige liner notes , right, for the benefit of those who prefer to read their liner notes “Printed in USA”. Apart from gratuitous changes to layout, they are textually identical.
Sellers Description: “The outer and inner sleeves have been graded as VG; some of the laminate has started to come away on the outer sleeve… The record has been pressed on black vinyl and has been graded as VG: some back ground noise but not obtrusive; a nice copy”
I agree with the “nice copy” I had no expectation of a decent vinyl, as I already owned the Prestige original, sans couverture. The idea was to find an interim cover for the Prestige. A pleasant surprise to find the vinyl cleans up to VG plus with no major issues, though at 235 grams the act of mounting it on the turntable qualifies as aerobics.
Grimace, clench teeth, drop down on all fours, take firm hold of vinyl edges, sharp intake of breath, and….lift!