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Miles Davis

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Miles Davis Pangaea album cover
4.24 | 84 ratings | 6 reviews | 56% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Live, released in 1975

Songs / Tracks Listing

Disc 1
1. Zimbabwe (41:48)

Disc 2
1. Gondwana (46:50)

Total Time 88:38

Line-up / Musicians

- Miles Davis / electric trumpet with wah-wah, organ
- Sonny Fortune / soprano & alto saxophones, flute
- Pete Cosey / electric guitar, synthesizer, percussion
- Reggie Lucas / electric guitar
- Michael Henderson / electric bass
- Al Foster / drums
- James "Mtume" Foreman / conga, percussion, water drum, rhythm box

Releases information

Recorded live at Osaka Festival Hall, Japan, Evening, February 1, 1975.

2LP: CBS/Sony 36AP 1789-90 (Japan), re-release Columbia 487247 1 (Netherlands)

2CD: CBS 467087 2 (Europe 1990), Columbia / Legacy C2K 46115 (US 1990)

Thanks to rocktopus for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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MILES DAVIS Pangaea ratings distribution

(84 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(56%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(32%)
Good, but non-essential (8%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

MILES DAVIS Pangaea reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Money
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars Mellow mysterious psychedelic avant-world music influenced progressive rock at it's finest, Pangea is the missing link between Meddle era Pink Floyd, the quieter side of Sun Ra, the exotic lounge gypsy ragas of Gabor Szabo, today's 'down tempo' music for chill rooms and the more introspective jazz/folk side of Jimi Hendrix. This is beautiful one-of-a kind music that has to be heard, mere words cannot do it justice.

Recorded on the same night as the Agharta album, Pangea has little of Agharta's cosmic space funk, but all of that album's tense quiet moments and then some. Not all is peaceful here, there are a few sections on Pangea that recall the chaotic free-jazz proto punk of the previously released Dark Magus, but overall, that still ominous mood that only Miles can create dominates here.

The star of this show is the phenomenal Pete Cosey, probably one of the best progressive rock guitarists outside of Robert Fripp and John McLaughlin. Pete's playing is rooted in the psychedelic blues tradition of David Gilmour, Eddie Hazel and Hendrix, but Cosey has a much more practiced technical style that allows him to move far beyond anything that those three could ever do. Although many guitarists rely on riffs and scale runs, Cosey's ability to 'sing' on the guitar like a saxophonist brings to mind similar guitarists such as Terje Rypdal, Steve Vai, Steve Hackett, Carlos Santana, Steve Hillage and Jeff Beck.

This album is highly recommended for people who like mellow psychedelic rock with some world music and avant-electronic influences and the occasional sonic free-for-all.

Review by Neu!mann
5 stars The era of electronic Miles Davis, from its humble late '60s origins (see: "In a Silent Way") through the Fusion breakthrough of his seminal 1970 Jazz-Rock masterpiece "Bitches Brew", and continuing into the apocalyptic street funk of "On The Corner", reached critical mass on stage in Japan in early 1975. This two-disc live set captures the evening performance of a twilight doubleheader, like its companion piece (the impossible to overrate "Agharta") recorded in Osaka on February 1 of that year.

Together both albums (both of them twin-discs) mark the apotheosis of an astonishing career that saw the erstwhile jazz trumpet player at the forefront of just about every new musical movement of the previous three decades.

"Pangaea" follows a trajectory similar to the afternoon gig, but with fascinating detours and altogether fresh results. Each of the two discs presents a single, unified improvisation, played with even more confidence and kinetic energy than on "Agharta" (Davis in particular sounds a lot stronger: maybe the pain medication finally kicked in). The music is sometimes less ferocious than it was during the afternoon set, but in the end presents an even richer experience: especially on Disc Two, when Miles truly Takes the Voodoo Down.

The evening show opens with "Zimbabwe": a no-hold barred, 42-minute Funk-Rock frontal assault more powerful in parts than even the malignant juggernaut of "Dark Magus", recorded in Carnegie Hall the previous year. After that the tone and tempo gradually shift downward into a more open and free-form (but no less rhythmic) jam on the nearly 47-minutes of Disc Two.

"Gondwana" (named for the prehistoric super-continent that would separate into Africa and South America) opens with a haunting tropical bass line and evocative solo flute (by Sonny Fortune). It's a welcome respite after all the heat and friction of "Zimbabwe" on Disc One, and eventually cools even further before resolving itself in an unexpected, swinging jam, recalling the pre-electronic roots of Davis' jazz past.

And there it ends, in a quietly devastating final curtain to both an epic day of music-making and a vanguard musical career. Davis would retreat into semi-retired seclusion soon after these gigs, and it's hard not to think that the sheer strain of creating such intense and beautiful noise finally pushed him off the public stage. Certainly his comeback in the 1980s introduced a more tame and tired Miles Davis than the ferocious beast heard prowling outside its cage on these recordings.

But this was Miles at his peak. And when standing on the summit of any mountain there's no other way to go except down.

Consumer postscript: word-of-mouth says the 1991 Columbia re-masters of "Agharta" and "Pangaea" are botched, inferior mixes of the original LPs. Save your pennies, as I did, for the more expensive but vastly superior Sony Japanese pressings. Both not only include more music (a couple of extra minutes on "Pangaea"; a whopping 10-minutes more on "Agharta"), but sound fabulous as well.

Review by Kazuhiro
4 stars 「The musician should use musical instruments that catch the age and reflect it in it. Bad music destroys music. Neither musical instruments nor the thought that the musician selected destroy music. 」

In the music character that Miles Davis where the route is developed in the 70's and it dashes thinks about and thought, the fact where the power of the foresight always exists might be the well-known facts. The theory of Miles Davis that surely derived the directionality of music that had always to catch the age and to do might have influenced all musicians and listener who was related to him. And, the difference is not in the support also of a musician who was active in the musician and surroundings of course related to him of the creation of Miles Davis.

The music that Miles Davis that had digested all the music characters that did not specify the genre created appeared remarkably exactly in the work in the especially 70's. Of course, the existence of Sly&The Family Stone and Jimi Hendrix might also have stimulated the antenna that Miles Davis had put. However, the electric wave that Miles Davis caught was always reflected in the music character and done as an accurate expression. It will have been one of the theories that it had thought about as the above-mentioned remark at that time.

The point that should make a special mention will include the interpretation and the construction of the rhythm in one of the characteristics of Miles Davis. Musical instruments that begin to draw the melody might also as the case may be have the moment with the element that carves the rhythm. How Miles Davis researches as an important part when the rhythm constructs the music character might be understood. And, it is partial where he doesn't perfectly construct the melody and the point was put on the command of the band. Miles Davis demonstrated an overwhelming leadership ability. It is a well-known fact well informed of the performance that should be done for the recording of the album and the performance by live, making the sound, and the processing of the space. And, the point to open the sound as a quite different expression method even if a sound the same as the point that should make a special mention is repeated. The overall impression might change a little depending on the musician who appointed it of course. However, because Miles Davis supports and proposes it, it is possible to perform music completely. And, a bad doing might become possible. However, the truth to which the highest level was maintained as Miles Davis always had eyes of the foresight will have been his talent.

Dave Liebman of an active Sax player had already been left from the combo of Miles Davis at this time at the time of 1973. The Sax player who had been appointed taking the place was Sonny Fortune known on business with McCoy Tyner. The Sax player changes places and active Miles Davis dares live as a new combo in Japan in 1975.

Of course, sales of the album since "On The Corner" that Miles Davis had announced as a well-known fact in 1972 will not have been too good grades. And, the problem of health might deteriorated gradually, too. However, it did not know the development of the music character that Miles Davis had to do and thought became weak. The sound source recorded for Miles Davis at the end of the 70's is a content where all elements and the ages that he cultivated appear remarkably.

The performance that had been done in Japan on February 1, 1975 was exactly a performance of the miracle. Miles Davis was performed by the composition at daytime and night for live during a day. It was said that it was commonplace to do the tune that exceeded both of the 40 minutes from 30 minutes as one. The performance done in daytime of this day is announced as "Agharta". And, the performance done on the night of this day becomes this "Pangaea". The album that Miles Davis announced is said that the part almost edited exists according to the remark of Teo Macero of Producer. The done performance is said by Japan to the album without editing it at all in the state of a sound source as it is that it collected. Therefore, two pieces ("Agharta" and "Pangaea") are announced as a sound source collected to the album in the state of the master tape. How the performance at this time was a performance of the miracle for them might be understood. And, the name of a song of the tune collected to the album of Miles Davis at this time is put because of most convenience. It is said that there was no too important point in the name of a song to use the melody of the performance to which the nature of the performance was done in the part and the past of the improvisation.

"Zimbabwe" is a tune with overwhelming power that exceeds 40 minutes. Destroyed complete rhythm of eight rhythms. Trumpet to get on dash feeling from the beginning. Line of Bass that tears up space. Guitar that expands width of tune. Percussion instrument that creates one space. The tune starts with a complete oneness. Miles Davis that doesn't use the mute might be evidence that feelings have risen. Sax appears continuously. And, the atmosphere of the tune is intermittently changed. The band might be completely ruled and Miles Davis be commanded. The dash feeling is continued and advances around Solo of Sax. And, it shifts to Solo of the guitar that the taste of psychedelic is demonstrated enough. The explosive power is overwhelming. The tune shows another face being add the anacatesthesia before long. Making the sound and the processing of the space might be splendid. The percussion instrument and Bass also contribute. The dash feeling visited again opens all elements. The tune shows all respects one after another while developing the tempo of the tune and the form of the performance. Guitar of complete Rock. Sound of decoration that creates space. Power is overwhelming.

"Gondwana" is an enchantment melody and a part of the flute. Obbligati of guitar to get on it. It starts with a racial part. A steady rhythm shows various respects by the signal that Miles Davis puts out. Especially, the flow of Chord with the anacatesthesia that the guitar puts out is splendid. Rhythm advanced as tension is continued. And, the sound of a glossy flute. And, it trumpets by add the tension to the atmosphere of the tune. The tune begins to show another respect. Line of guitar and Bass that joins part where rhythm was emphasized. The element done by the performance till then might be reflected well. Intermittent tempo. Part of Solo of exploding guitar. The tension continues with the trumpet. The element of good Blues of the passage of 34 minutes appears. A good part of the member who has flexibility might appear exactly. The tune receives the top as it is while keeping chaotic.

Pangaea continent of legend passed on to have existed before theory of continental drift is transmitted as established theory 200 million 5 thousand years ago. The music character that expresses one world without the border at which Miles Davis aimed might exist exactly here. The top of the music character that Miles Davis had spent in the 70's reached this album. After announcing this album, Miles Davis faces the state of a silence of about six years. The creation of the music that he was creating exactly received the top at this time.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars "Pangaea" was the evening concert in Osaka, Japan while "Agharta" was recorded earlier on the same day. Both lack the fire and experimental excursions that I love about earlier Miles Davis concerts and albums. Maybe it was because he was sick and as most know this would be his last concert for many years as he took a long break. While I consider myself a huge Miles Davis fan i'll admit that my window is maybe small compared to most fans as I focus on the 1969- 1974 period only. So we get two long tracks only over two cds. If you have the LPs then obviously the two long songs were broken up.

"Zimbabe" is uptempo with drums to start as Miles comes in before 1 1/2 minutes honking away. Guitar to the fore after 8 1/2 minutes. It all stops around 11 minutes then restarts.Trumpet is back before 13 minutes.Lots of percussion after 15 minutes then the tempo picks up before 17 minutes with trumpet and drums leading like early on.The guitar is back. A calm before 22 minutes then we get this trippy section which is my favourite part, then the tempo picks up after 27 minutes. Guitar 30 1/2 minutes in that lasts for 3 minutes then a calm with sparse sounds continues to the end. Man this is tough going at times with so little going on.

"Gondwana" is even more difficult than the first track and I say that because it's more mellow and laid back unfortunately. Flute to start as a beat joins in. It's starting to build but then it settles some as trumpet arrives replacing the flute. A calm 10 minutes in until it's pretty much silent before 14 minutes. Drums come in then trumpet after 15 1/2 minutes. It settles before 19 minutes as the trumpet stops. It starts to pick back up with guitar and drums before 20 minutes. A calm after 26 minutes as the synths? and percussion take over. Another calm after 28 minutes with trumpet and a beat.The guitar replaces the trumpet after 36 minutes then it kicks back in briefy (unfortunately) after 45 1/2 minutes.

I'm surprised I like this even less than "Aghartha" but I do. 3 stars.

Latest members reviews

2 stars While I consider "In a Silent Way" and "Bitches Brew" to be among mankind's greatest achievements, the all-out guitar-heavy fusion towards the end of this leg of Davis' career appeals far less. I find Pangaea to be generally overrated, I'm afraid. There are two tracks, which funnily could only be en ... (read more)

Report this review (#2587250) | Posted by pedestrian | Thursday, August 19, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Pangaea is a Jazz Rock Masterpiece! I say this because it was finally the time for a Miles fusion group to be centered on the concept of making long, adventurous songs that develop and change over time. This music is not Miles' sell-out, but perhaps a 'sell-in'. That being said it must be ... (read more)

Report this review (#474423) | Posted by idoownu | Sunday, July 3, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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