The Heft of Miles

Ken Franckling on the Miles Davis 43-CD box set

How much musical weight do you give to trumpeter Miles Davis’s 30 years of recordings for Columbia?

Everyone may have a different answer, depending on the stylistic preferences of the listener, since Davis was always a groundbreaker in pushing style and sound.

While it clearly doesn’t include everything he recorded for the label, Columbia/Legacy this fall (September 24 at last word) will release a hefty package that is likely to appeal to the compleatists among us. Even though most of those compleatists likely have many of the individual components - and much more.


Miles Davis

It’s called The Genius of Miles Davis, a 43-CD limited-edition box set. The packaging is designed as a trumpet case, which will house all eight of the eight deluxe multi-CD box sets that have been part of the Miles Davis Series of reissues over the past 15 years. Plus an exact replica of the “Gustat” Heim 2 model mouthpiece used by Miles. Plus a previously unavailable fine art lithograph chosen by the Miles Davis Estate. Plus a boutique-quality T-shirt manufactured for this package by Trunk Ltd.

Seven of the eight deluxe CD sets will be included in their distinctive gilt-edged metal spine packaging. The eighth, The Complete In a Silent Way Sessions, was never issued with the metal spine.

The others are:

Miles Davis & Gil Evans: The Complete Columbia Studio Recordings

Miles Davis Quintet 1965-’68: The Complete Columbia Studio Recordings

The Complete Bitches Brew Sessions

Miles Davis & John Coltrane: The Complete Columbia Recordings 1955-1961

The Complete Jack Johnson Sessions

Seven Steps: The Complete Columbia Recordings of Miles Davis 1963-1964

The Complete On The Corner Sessions

It’s curious that Davis’s classic Plugged Nickel session is not represented. Perhaps there was no room for more in the case. This new compilation may appeal to elitist compleatists. Time will tell. While it’s not available until September 24, it can be pre-ordered at or here.

The price: $1,999.99. It’s great to see they’re keeping the price under two grand. Such a deal. Hopefully, shipping is included. Oh, and back to the weight question. The package weighs 21 pounds.

Does Columbia/Legacy have the forklifts ready? Will it need them?

1 Comment

  • Jun 09, 2010 at 08:06AM Gary Arseneau

    June 9, 2010

    Miles Davis -never- created a lithograph in his life.

    Lithographs are original works of visual art that must be "wholly executed by hand by the artist {and} excluding any mechanical and photomechanical processes."

    -Lithograph- is being used as an euphemism for reproduction/poster.

    Gary Arseneau
    artist, creator of original lithographs & scholar
    Fernandina Beach, Florida

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