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Miles Ahead: Columbia Titles

Miles Ahead contains entries for all of Miles Davis's Columbia recordings. Select a record from the drop-down list below, then press the "Details" button -- this will return a table of Columbia issues, reissues, equivalents, etc. To see this information on a single page, see the table elsewhere on this site.

Results include the original monaural LPs (CL series); original stereo reissues (CS series); one or two subsequent reissues (e.g. the PC series in the mid-1970s); and the most recent LP reissues (CJ series: many of these are based on digital masters).

Davis's Columbia records began appearing in Japan in the late 1950s on the Nippon Columbia label. (Here's one.) In 1969 CBS/Sony took over and began reissuing the Davis catalog in a more systematic way. I've included catalog numbers for both Nippon Columbia and CBS/Sony LPs where I know them. These records are beautifully produced (both sonically and graphically) and the pressings are excellent. All of the CBS/Sony series except the last, issued in the mid-1980s (with 28AP xxxx numbers for single LPs and 40AP xxxx for double LPs), used analog masters. (I'm grateful to Hiroshi Tanno of Early Records in Fukuoka City for help with these LPs.)

The listing for Japanese CDs includes several series. In the case of most titles, there are by now more than half a dozen issued CD versions:

  1. The original CBS/Sony CDs (35DP series) were released in 1983.
  2. Another series (with 32DP / 50DP catalog numbers) was issued in 1985-1986; this series reissued all of the 35DP titles and added most of the remaining titles from Davis's Columbia years.
  3. The CBS/Sony CSCS series in the late 1980s reissued most of these recordings.
  4. The Sony SRCS 5000 series in the early 1990s reissued most of them again (including several not reissued in the CSCS series).
  5. The Sony "Master Sound" series (SRCS 91xx and 93xx), released beginning in early 1997, used 20-bit masters incorporating Super Bit Mapping. A few of the titles had bonus material not included in previous releases. The initial releases were housed in paper LP-style sleeves. These 20-bit SBM CDs were reissued in 2005-2006 with catalog numbers SICP 8xx and 9xx.
  6. A subsequent "Master Sound" series (SRCS 97xx), released beginning in mid-2000, incorporated one-bit "Direct Stream Digital" mastering. Several of these titles included bonus material, some of which first appeared on the boxed sets of Miles Davis's recordings that began to appear in the late 1990s. The initial releases had paper LP-style sleeves. These one-bit DSD CDs were reissued in paper sleeves in 2006 (Sony SICP 12xx series),
  7. Sony released the first "Super Audio CD" versions of Miles Davis (SRGS 45xx) in mid-1999. These were also based on the one-bit DSD masters. Again, several titles included bonus tracks. Some of these titles were reissued as hybrid (stereo + multi-channel) SACDs in 2007 (Sony SICP 100xx series).
  8. The first "Blu-Spec" high-definition CDs were released in 2008-2009 (SICP 20xxx series); some of these were reissued in 2013 (SICP 30xxx series).
  9. Several Miles Davis CDs were included in Sony's "Jazz Collection 1000" series, beginning in 2014 and continuing into 2017. These are plain vanilla, budget-priced CDs with catalog numbers SICP 39xx, SICP 4xxx, or SICJ xxx.

In November 2009 Sony released The Complete Miles Davis Columbia Album Collection (Sony 86975 24922), with all 52 of Davis's Columbia records in one package, including the full performance of Davis's group at the Isle of Wight 1970. A bonus DVD contains video of the Davis Quintet in Stockholm and Karlsruhe from the fall 1967 "Newport Jazz Festival in Europe" tour produced by George Wein.

In November 2013 Sony released The Original Mono Recordings (Columbia Legacy 88883 75664), with monaural versions of the first nine LPs Miles Davis recorded for Columbia. When available, the original mono masters were used; but in some cases new mono masters were created from early stereo reels. The set was also released in Japan on nine Blu-spec CDs (Sony SICP 30521/9).

In October 2023 Sony finally issued a Japanese version of the complete recordings from the Plugged Nickel Club in 1965. The boxed set contains eight dual-layer SACDs with music that matches that released in 1995 on Mosiac LPs and Columbia Legacy CDs.

In November 2023 Sony reissued all of the Columbia recordings it its "We Want Jazz” series. Many of the titles include bonus tracks; and seven of the reissues -- Milestones, Miles Davis at Newport, Porgy and Bess, Kind of Blue, Sketches of Spain, Someday My Prince Will Come, and Miles in Berlin -- are double CDs including both monaural and stereo mixes.

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