Miles Davis' 'Kind of Blue' Stunningly Good in Atmos

Now here was a Munich High End show demo that could have gone either way: Miles Davis’ classic jazz albums Kind of Blue (1959) and Sketches of Spain (1960) re-mixed for Dolby Atmos. Would the producers of this bold effort maintain the sonic integrity of the original recordings, or would they succumb to the worst impulses of 5.1-remix era, surrounding listeners in a swirl of brass, with Bill Evans’ piano raining down from overhead?

As it turns out, Kind of Blue remixed in Atmos sounded astonishingly good. Both the remix and the demo were sponsored by PMC speakers, which worked with the Miles Davis estate to secure the three mono master tapes used to create the new recordings. (Both Davis’ son Erin and nephew and drummer, Vince Wilburn, were in attendance at the demo.) The playback system in Munich mirrored the original setup in Capitol Studios where the remixes were created: 3 PMC Fenestria towers up front for LCRs, 10 PMC Wafer on-wall speakers for surrounds, another 6 Wafers used as overheads, all of it driven by Bryston electronics.

Heard in Atmos, Kind of Blue’s opening track, “So What,” had an easy, natural presentation that made it seem like you were listening in an actual space. Instruments were planted firmly in the front stage, but the sound seeped out to the sides of the listening area in a subtle manner and conveyed a realistic sense of height. When a high-res stereo version of “So What” was played for comparison, the sound seemed flat and “locked” to the front speakers, with little sense of height or depth. Unfortunately, the remixed versions of Kind of Blue (1959) and Sketches of Spain presented in Munich aren’t authorized for commercial release, but if music remixed for Atmos can sound this good, I for one want to hear more.

Perrin1710's picture

I wonder why? I am sure such a jazz standard, that appeals to jazz aficionados and the general public alike, with rave reviews would find a (relatively) broad public.