Miles Davis’s two-night stand at The Blackhawk in San Francisco marked a watershed in jazz history, a seminal event transforming the American musical landscape. Davis had never been recorded live in a club with his combo and the performances over the course of two sets a night on April 21 and 22, 1961 more than justify the legend. The New York Times, in its review of the Columbia Records release of the complete Blackhawk shows, called the music “the gold standard for straight-ahead, postwar jazz rhythm.”
Impex Record is proud to bring you a performance unequaled, a recording unparalleled and the must-have audiophile release of this or any other year. Strictly limited to 2,000 pressings, so get yours now before they’re gone.
2. Bye Bye Blackbird
1. All Of You
2. No Blues
3. Bye Bye (Theme)
4. Love, I’ve Found You
1. Well You Needn’t
3. So What
2. If I Were A Bell
DENNIS DAVIS, HIFI+, ISSUE 81.
One of the great live sets in jazz, Davis’s Blackhawk sessions from 1961 include Hank Mobley, Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers and Jimmy Cobb. The Blackhawk nightclub, long gone from San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood, hosted the elite of the jazz world from 1943 to 1963. The band plays music from Miles’ Prestige and Columbia songbook, but as usual with his live sets, at a generally faster pace. This is prime Miles Davis with great playing despite the fact that the group is transitional between Miles’ two classic bands.
The LPs have always sold well and have been issued in several forms. The music was issued as both single discs and two-disc sets on “6 eye” labels in both mono and stereo versions, and then on every label variation since, and then as a 4 CD set including the full sessions. Mosaic issued its usual full box set.
This latest version comes from Impex Records, a new company formed from the ashes of Cisco Music. I’ve tried every pressing variation of this fabulous music over the years looking for the best sounding version of an imperfect, though good, recording. This new mastering from Kevin Gray, assisted by Robert Pincus, has brought that search to an end. The best sounding version of essential music.
JIM KAPLAN, RECORD COLLECTOR NEWS “NOW PLAYING”, MAY-JUNE 2012
Impex Records’ reissue of Friday and Saturday Nights: Miles Davis in Person at the Blackhawk San Francisco is as high quality as it gets. If you don’t already own this record, stop looking and get this reissue. I have a couple of originals and the only difference is that my originals are noisy. It’s such a treat to have pristine, rock solid reissues. Go get ’em.
MICHAEL FREMER, ANALOG PLANET.COM, JUNE 2012
JEFF WILSON, THE ABSOLUTE SOUND, OCTOBER 2012