Miles Davis's Relaxin'  is Craft's Next "Small Batch" Release!

Craft Records today announced Miles Davis’s Relaxin’ as the next “Small Batch” limited to 5000 copies release. The pre-sale launches Friday April 15th at 2:00 PST/5:00 EST on the “Small Batch” website.

Bernie Grundman cut lacquers using the original analog master tapes and RTI pressed on 180g Neotech VR900 compound with “one-step” stampers. Each pressing is individually numbered and encased in a foil-stamped linen-wrapped slip case featuring an acylic inset of the original artwork. The original artwork is reproduced on a “tip-on” jacket extractable through a unique frictionless ribbon pull tab. Included in the package are new liner notes from GRAMMY Award-winning music historian, journalist and producer Ashley Kahn.

The 1956 recording hardly needs introducing to AnalogPlanet readers, but for the few who might not be well-familiar, between November 1955 and October 1956 the group featuring John Coltrane, Red Garland, Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones recorded 32 tracks at Rudy Van Gelder’s Prospect Avenue, Hackensack, NJ living room studio that became Miles: The New Miles Davis Quintet (1956), Cookin’ (1957), Relaxin’ (1958), Workin’ (1959) and Steamin’ (1961).

When Relaxin’ was released, Davis was but a few short months away from recording Kind of Blue for Columbia. To pre-order Relaxin’, visit the Craft Records “Small Batch” website as of the date and times listed at the top. I’ve heard the test pressing. Keep your fingers on the website trigger!

COMMENTS
volvic's picture

Production increased to 5,000 copies. Hopefully the transactional database can keep up with the multiple purchasing hits it's going to have to processs starting at 3:01 PM.

Anton D's picture

5,000 copies will make more vinyl lovers happy and make the company mo' money!

A marketplace win/win!

volvic's picture

I just might play this game on Friday.

volvic's picture

Guess in the end I didn’t really need it. Still, sad I didn’t order.

volvic's picture

It’s still available as pre-sale.

Anton D's picture

Saturday afternoon and got one.

Now, that is civilized!

volvic's picture

Had it in my cart but with shipping and taxes it was $135, so backed out. I’ll wait for the AS repress. Still tempted, but my credit card bills are getting out of hand with all these purchases, so a second sober thought is in order.

volvic's picture

I got no self control. Done!

Anton D's picture

Cheers, audio soul mate!

volvic's picture

You're too kind. Cheers!!!!

rl1856's picture

Why does Craft pursue a limited edition model with this series of releases ? Quick math implies gross revenue of $495k (5000 x $99). They would have to sell 16,500 copies if the retail price is $30, and 13,375 copies if the price is $40. One interesting anecdote from the current bonanza of jazz reissues, is that many reissue titles from Verve/Impulse/Blue Note sell in greater numbers NOW than when originally issued. If one looks for 25,000 copies to be sold (a modest number given potential world wide demand), then there is the potential for a greater return on inv. A limited release model can benefit the company, but does not really benefit consumers, and serves to enrich flippers. So why does Craft pursue this model instead of a more expanded release ?

mb's picture

Every copy which goes unsold is negative net revenue. And every copy pressed which doesn’t get sold right away eats into the profit margin. These days, too few is almost always better for a label than too many.

5,000 copies is a lot of copies for this title. I hope Craft hasn’t gotten out over its skis on this one.

Analog Scott's picture

Which means a new lacquer for every 500 copies. they have to also consider bad pressings and other returns. It's not that simple to just up the production run

azmoon's picture

…will keep buying the same titles at increasingly higher prices. And praise the “improved sound” until the next release. The sheep…..

timware's picture

Lemmings... Look at yourself, azzmoon...

Tom L's picture

Calling people "sheep" has become an insult because of their flocking and following behavior, but I lived on a farm with sheep many years ago and they are wonderful animals. Cute, very useful and smarter than you might think. They never buy LPs, although they have been known to enjoy classical and some jazz. Take it easy on the sheep!

Mark Evans's picture

“Baa-ram-ewe! Baa-ram-ewe! To your breed, your fleece, your clan be true! Sheep be true!

arcman67's picture

Looks like a really nice package

Michael Fremer's picture
What she said....
swimming1's picture

Just what no one needs.Another overpriced remaster. LOL Cheers,Chet

Analog Scott's picture

and I got one

jazz's picture

5000 hopefully at least serves those who pull the trigger during a reasonable time that day.
Craft probably wasn’t aware that AP rereleases the same album at the same time.

I hope we will also see such great, previously never audiophile reissued albums like the Yusef again, which I really enjoyed.

Regarding Lush Live I liked the Hoffman/Gray 45RPM cut better, Relaxin’ could sound very good with Bernie’s choices.

Mazzy's picture

I think I’d rather pay $40 for the upcoming Acoustic Sounds repress. Don’t need the box or ribbon.

Rodan's picture

I won't engaging in the mad rush, as I just realized I have the Analogue Productions box set "The Miles Davis Quintet-The Great Prestige Recordings" (APJ 035), which I picked up at on its release in 1996. "Relaxin'" is one of the five discs. This AP set was also a limited release of 2500 (not one-step, though), but in those days I think it took a lot longer to sell out! Michael's post reminded me that it's been a while since I spun these LPs, which I'll do directly.

Michael Fremer's picture
A test pressing of this new remaster vs the one in the box. Box sound is soft and warm. New reissue trumpet sounds far more real…
jazz's picture

to the Stan Ricker mastering which was already beaten by the Hoffman/Gray mastering. Would be interesting how it compared to the latter. From my experience with the Kenny Dorham it should be a little leaner sounding with better controlled bass and maybe just slightly different treble EQ. The transparency difference between the new Grundman and the old Gray chain can but usually doesn’t play the biggest role with mono releases. Just my guess.

jazz's picture

the 200g 33RPM Kevin Gray reissue on AP

MrRom92's picture

I would be much more excited to see this title, and this series in general done at 45rpm. Analogue Productions did it 20 years ago, that version is now long out of print. Why not try to make these pressings the best they can possibly sound? I’m sure it will be the best 33rpm version that anyone has yet to offer, but why leave room for better performance on the table if this is such a premium product?

Robin Landseadel's picture

I remember getting this music back in the mid-seventies on Fantasy two-fers. That fantasy series was great, generic packaging but usually good pressings and excellent liner notes. Not exactly the earcandy of "Kind of Blue", the sound quality somewhat less sumptuous. But the playing is uniquely first-rate, everything recorded at these sessions is worth hearing, no matter the format.

Russo7516's picture

Miles last five Prestige albums were done with in a week . He had a contract that had to be finished with Prestige. How amazing is that .
But the sound engineering at Prestige was ok. Plus the Tape quality of the 50's's and vault storage.
How is the Craft going to make this Lp sound any better.
MY OJC of this pressing sounds good and well was the 24 bit CD that was released ( early 200's). Are the using the 24 bit digital master. WINK WINK !
I think I will play the NY lottery cause I have a better chance winning that than obtaining a Small Batch Record @ 99 buck Plus S&H. lol

rich d's picture

The last five Prestige albums were recorded in fairly short order but not in one week. The LPs were cobbled together from three sessions - one in late '55 shortly after Miles signed with Columbia,and one each in the Spring and Fall of '56. They were all pretty brief sessions as the group knew the repertoire well, so your estimate of one week is about right if you mean the total time spent. Don't call me pedantic!

I'll play it and tell you what it is later.

Russo7516's picture

2-4 day total. It was done in Mono also from jump.

Analog Scott's picture

So no one can whine and bitch about the release being too limited. If you are happy with what you have great. But this will sound different than anything you currently have.

ilbiffo's picture

A OT question for mr.Fremer or for those who know: the AP Miles Davis Relaxin,Cookin,Workin,Steamin on 45 RPM are mono or stereo?

jazz's picture

.

DaveyF's picture

rich d's question about stereo or mono is an interesting one. These days, while i may be in a small minority when it comes to this, I am far less enamored of mono recordings. The reason is that there i only so much i can get from having all of the instruments placed in the middle of the soundstage with no left or right information. For example, my Tone Poet LP of 'Introducing Kenny Burrell' is great, BUT the musicians are all clumped in the middle, and even though the SQ of each instrument is superb, the lack of spread really diminishes the overall presentation. If this same release was in stereo with a great soundstage, it would have been so much better, IMO. Same thing will go for the Relaxin' release to come.

jazz's picture

which recordings were made in true stereo (not fake, rechanneled) at all. Those which were only recorded in mono simply have to be accepted as the are, you won’t have a choice of mono/stereo there. All high quality versions of Relaxin’ will be mono.

Michael Fremer's picture
No stereo recording for any of these Miles records
Michael Fremer's picture
No stereo recording for any of these Miles records
MrRom92's picture

There is no stereo version of this recording so it’s a non-issue for me. Well done mono does not leave me wanting in the slightest. Some of the most startlingly real recordings I’ve ever heard were in mono.

The important thing here is that Bernie mastered this version while using a proper full track head for the transfer. You would be shocked how uncommon this has been for most reissues of mono material since the dawn of the stereo era, even on major MAJOR re-releases. Like The Beatles 1987 CDs - the first 4 are mono tapes played back on a stereo machine with all the nasties that come along with doing that. A lot of mastering studios aren’t even equipped with a fulltrack head anymore, or simply don’t bother to use them... Blech!

mraudioguru's picture

...my copy. Got confirmation already. Pre-Sale was the way to go!

jazz's picture

.

jazz's picture

didn’t see the subscriber preorder link in the mail. Have to go with the normal link.

mraudioguru's picture

I should have said the pre-pre-order, which is now sold out, wonder how many they allocated to each lot? I knew it would sell fast...

DaveyF's picture

I knew that there were no stereo versions of these MD records. Nonetheless, I still think this for me is an issue for ultimate SQ. I own numerous original Blue Notes that are in mono, all great recordings and all enjoyable, but personally for me not as enjoyable as stereo releases. I managed to get the Craft release, which I'm sure will be good...just wish it was a stereo LP.

hockeyyo's picture

In most cases I prefer the Blue Note recordings in mono versus stereo. I'm using a dedicated mono cartridge (Miyajima Infinity). When friends are over I play the stereo & mono version and 75% of the time they pick the mono version. Music Matters released Lee Morgan 'Candy' in both stereo and mono. I've done this comparison for over 20 different people and they picked the mono version 100% of the time. I love the Prestige Mono Series by AP but I also purchased this new Craft pressing today.

DaveyF's picture

I'm using a stereo cartridge to listen to these mono pressings. While I'm sure a mono cartridge would be more appropriate for mono LP's, I fail to see how the mono cartridge can solve the soundstage issue that I spoke about above.

Rashers's picture

$127 including shipping. I hope I'm not going to get a whopping import and tax bill (European Union) - as this product is shipping from the US.

Mile High Audio's picture

I missed Friday's pre-sale so bought a copy when the 'general public sale' launched a few hours later...and it's still available today when I bought a second copy as a gift :-)

Anton D's picture

If the turn around weren’t so slow, preordering and then pressing based on purchase numbers would be cool.

JMiller's picture

Anton are you going to Axpona this year?

Anton D's picture

But the Pacific Northwest Audio Fest, in July, yes!

Trevor_Bartram's picture

that will never go out of fashion. My favorite is Workin' but the whole set is essential.

mdz10000's picture

I preordered this past Friday at 3:30PM. Was surprised that it was still available. As of 4/18/22 3:45PM still available. Wonder when will it sellout.

Wymax's picture

It has already sold out in Europe! Or rather, it never went on sale :-)

Anton D's picture

They can probably dial in the right number to press as they go.

Also, it must be tough to gauge, sometimes.

I love Ahmad Jamal, but he might not generate the sales frenzy that a new mix of 'Take Five' would.

It will interesting to see.

JMiller's picture

Anton will miss NFS, you were my best exhibitor in Vegas (Jeff and Dirk)

Bmcpherson's picture

I'd be into that depending on the album

jazz's picture

has burned (tape wise) as far as I know. Difficult to get the sources we like.

Happy Will's picture

Well, my copy arrived about 30 mins ago, and I have just opened the shrink wrap and…

The record cover has a corner ding - looks like from before or being put into the outer box.

Yet of more concern is the record was rather dusty and on one side there looks like 3 sleeve insertion scuffs from record edge towards the label, which are quite visible in sunlight. I haven’t played it yet - I’ll wait till this evening - but Something Else from the Ornette Box had similar marks and sounded - and I am still waiting for a replacement to arrive 10 days or so after contacting Craft. Is it the pimples on the inside of the RTI inner sleeves that is part of the problem?

buckaroo's picture

I got mine two days ago. Very dirty! About a dozen play throughs on each side to get it clean. Using GrooveWasher and Carbon brush on the album and Disc Dr. on the stylus. JEEZ! Never have I had such a dirty album!!!

Once cleaned there are spots that MD's trumpet sounds strident. There are also spots where the ride cymbal is crisp and "icepick" like. Contacted Craft but no exchange detail has transpired yet. I wonder if the newer vinyl formula attracts dust in an increased manner. I have watched a YouTube review and read comments elsewhere that some find it "crispy" sounding.

I also wonder if some debris is baked on to the vinyl and not coming off with record cleaning. Hard to believe Bernie G. would let a remaster out with such poor sound on the trumpet and cymbals. Also hard to believe RTI would let dirty records go undetected. My sense is it is a mechanical issue rather than a "mastering decision" issue...but what do I know. I bought the hype and maybe just got a lemon.

The older digital recordings do reveal some areas being strident. Certainly the best copies of this title do not have the sonic superiority of Kind Of Blue.

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