David Royko Psy.D

david@davidroyko.com


Miles Davis - The Complete Live at the Plugged Nickel 1965 (Sony) - Comparison between the Japanese and American sets, and corrections to the notes, by David Royko

Newsgroups: rec.music.bluenote
Subject:  Corrections to Plugged Nickel notes
From:   droyko@aol.com (D Royko)
Date:   18 Oct 1995 

I do not have the 7-cd Japanese 'gold' set, but I do have the 7-cd Japanese standard set and the domestic 8-cd set as well, and I find them to be different from one another, mainly in that there is less reverb on the domestic set, resulting in a cleaner, more solid sound on the domestic set [I don't know if Cuscuna has said this or not]. What is interesting is that the differences are greater on some tracks or discs than others. The diferences are most noticable with the drums (particularly the snare and ride cymbal), and less dramatic but still noticable is the impression that the bass is less boomy on the domestic set, and Miles and Shorter sound cleaner. I find the overall improvement to be more significant between the 7-cd Japanese vs. 8-cd domestic than between the single domestic "Cookin' at the Plugged Nickel" cd vs. the 7-cd Japanese set. In other words, if you noticed an improvement going from "Cookin' ATPN" to the 7-cd Japanese set, then I expect you'll hear an even greater improvement going from the Japanese 7-cds to the domestic 8-cds. The main reason to upgrade, though, is to get the restored, 'full-length' performances, especially on "Yesterdays," since even at its best, the sound quality on the domestic set is still nothing special (frankly, I think that the JMY "No Blues" bootleg, recorded a couple years later, is superior to most live 1960s-era Miles discs that CBS/Columbia have released).

One other note: After doing much detailed comparison, and having listened to the Japanese set pretty obsessively for a couple of years prior to the release of the domestic set, I have found that the notes in the domestic set are in error on a couple of points regarding what exactly is restored on the domestic set:

Disc 4, Track 4 ("I Fall In Love..."): Notes state that the Trumpet solo is restored. It is in fact the Tenor solo that is restored (listen between 5:20 and 9:50).

Disc 5, Track 4 ("Green Dolphin..."): Notes state that the Tenor solo is restored. It is in fact the Trumpet solo that is restored (listen between 0:00 and 6:05). Most of what is restored is muted trumpet, along with a small bit of open trumpet.

Disc 6, Track 5: Between 17:30 and 20:02, there is some ensemble work that is restored. The notes neglect to mention this at all.

There are also some slight differences between the Japanese and Domestic versions regarding the fade ins and fade outs at the beginning and end of discs. In general, but not in all cases, there is slightly more audience chatter and stray instrument noise at these points on the Japanese set.

Hope the above is of some value to fellow compulsives.

Dave Royko