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The Quest for Agharta

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catfood03 View Drop Down
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    Posted: March 19 2012 at 20:23


I've been a fan of Miles Davis' fusion years for quite some time now, but i have yet to add Agharta and Pangaea to my collection. Over the last couple days I've been listening to excerpts from these two live albums I have been totally blown away by what I've heard, even better than Live Evil or Dark Magus to my ears. It's a shame Miles retired for half a decade after these two intense recordings, but history is what it is...

Yesterday I spent some time online hunting for a nice deluxe/remaster version of these recordings to purchase, but to my dismay all I could find were some ancient original CD release from 1990. There were Japanese pressings in mini-LP style packaging a decade ago, and another some 5 years ago in "Blue-Spec" audio quality (or some marketing "buzz word" like that). Those are either sold-out or so prohibitively expensive to be unobtainable for my pocketbook.

Now I know Columbia Records did a re-issue campaign of Miles' work starting in the late 90's and seemed to include nearly everything he recorded for the label except these two. I wonder why these have been neglected for re-release in the states?

Which of these two recordings do fans prefer?

I also heard there is additional music on the Japanese versions of one or both of these.
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Intruder View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Intruder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 14 2012 at 07:43
The afternoon and evening shows from Buddokan....got mine in Japan in the mid-90s, not mini-LP but jewel cased and remastered in 20 bit.  No complaints about sound but would love to see a boxed set from the complete shows and/or other dates from the tour.
 
I prefer Pangea, but I believe I'm in the minority.  It's just a bit tamer, less cluttered.  I liked it when Miles created "space" in the music.  Either way, both are mad house sessions and highly recommended. 
I like to feel the suspense when you're certain you know I am there.....
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catfood03 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote catfood03 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 14 2012 at 19:04
Thank you for your reply, Intruder. I was wondering where the Miles/Fusion fans had gone to.

Since the initial post I have acquired both of these on vinyl, as they have been re-released on "4 Men with Beards" label (or some similar name).  It's really cool to have these on the LP format, especially for the art. Unfortunately, particularly with Pangea, the limitations of vinyl greatly disrupts the flow of the longer tracks that continue on the flipside.

Still puzzled why Columbia has dragged their feet with these in giving these albums any re-issue treatment themselves. I think these might be the best of Miles' live recordings (officially released, anyway)


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Abstrakt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 15 2012 at 04:36
It seems that you're right. Weird. I never thought about that, but then again i don't really care what edition my Miles CD's are. From his colombia period, i have both old CBS pressings, old Colombia Contemporary Jazz Masters, and various newer Colombia remasters.
And i still don't have those two albums. I only have 2 live album by miles so far. "Complete Concert 1964" and "Live at the Fillmore East" Embarrassed
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote catfood03 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 15 2012 at 08:08
I only care about the edition if it means a quality remastering of the music. The LP versions I recently acquired sound just fine to my ears, so no complaints there.

I think for the CD format the "Colombia Contemporary Jazz Masters" is the only edition available for Agharta and Pangea, and those where pressed in the early 90's(?)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Abstrakt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 15 2012 at 09:45
You're probably right. Every time i see Pangaea&Agartha, it's eiter in that pressing or a japanese remaster of some kind.
On another hand, i really like the sound of the Prestige albums he recorded in the mid 50's. Fantastic remastering on those!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Abstrakt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 15 2012 at 09:49
Just to be picky, Miles WAS in pretty bad shape at that time, but he didn't retreat after those gigs. Those gigs are however the last ones that were officially recorded and released before his retreat. He played a few more shows in the U.S.A. in 1975 that was bootlegged. According to the books i've read, anyway...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote catfood03 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 15 2012 at 10:45
Originally posted by Abstrakt Abstrakt wrote:

Just to be picky, Miles WAS in pretty bad shape at that time, but he didn't retreat after those gigs. Those gigs are however the last ones that were officially recorded and released before his retreat. He played a few more shows in the U.S.A. in 1975 that was bootlegged. According to the books i've read, anyway...


Interesting, I didn't know about that. I still wonder how those years between the mid-70's and early-80's might have sounded if he had continued to create music. He might have still arrived to the style of his last decade of music anyway.
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