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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars funkosaurus fiddling while gondwanaland burns
There are so many reasons why this cd should NOT be good.
Firstly, in characteristic electric-period-Miles-before-the-collapse-mode, Miles doesn't even deign to pick up his horn for the first 10 minutes, and he exits stage-left over 15 minutes before the end.
Secondly, the host of guitarists employed to impersonate Hendrix jamming with Sly Stone (Pete Cosey to...
Published on 21 Dec 2009 by disturbedchinchilla

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7 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Audio Torture!
This is typical of Miles' early to mid-seventies live recordings. Just a lot of disorganised noise with screeching "electric" trumpet from the leader and the rest of the band trying to work out what they're supposed to be playing. Tune titles mean absolutely nothing as it all sounds the same, an insult to the listener. It's just an awful noise, best summed up by a recent...
Published on 24 Aug 2010 by Mr. D. Wyatt


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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars funkosaurus fiddling while gondwanaland burns, 21 Dec 2009
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This review is from: Dark Magus (Audio CD)
There are so many reasons why this cd should NOT be good.
Firstly, in characteristic electric-period-Miles-before-the-collapse-mode, Miles doesn't even deign to pick up his horn for the first 10 minutes, and he exits stage-left over 15 minutes before the end.
Secondly, the host of guitarists employed to impersonate Hendrix jamming with Sly Stone (Pete Cosey to the fore) end up sounding like a bunch of teenage garage wannabes on too much caffeine.
Thirdly, Miles sounds like he's haunting himself through the medium of a wah-wah pedal: a bizarrely mournful wail snaking around a black sabbath boogie.
Fourthly, despite the track-listing - this is basically one long formless jam session barely held together by the heavier-than-thou bass of Michael Henderson.
Fifthly, Miles is transparently so up his eyeballs in Columbian marching powder that he could have played a kazoo for two hours and walked away from the performance thinking it was pretty damn brilliant... (the list goes on)

It should be awful. It's not. 'Dark Magus' is a ghastly spectacle - right up there with the Stones Altamont gig - it's the sound of idealism burning out and chowing down on it's own caramelised membranes. It's funky as hell and as down, sleazy, despairing and cynical as Lou Reed's 'Berlin'. Destruction and devastation are just around the corner, but meanwhile, kick back, dance, snort, enjoy, try not to be appalled.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flabby? What's that all about...?, 23 April 2006
By 
D. B. Dalglish "king_dom" (Durham) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dark Magus: Live at Carnegie Hall (Audio CD)
I would have to disagree with the notion that the first cd is 'flabby'. It's got the raw energy of an electric Miles performance. Moja parts 1&2 are some the best recorded and most intense pieces of Miles ever recorded. They are a fantastic testimony to the bands ability to hold a furious pace and make it funky as hell. Much of the other music is of course very similar to the other live recordings from this period most notably Pangaea, but their sound quality is much better. You can hear so much more of what the musicians are trying to do. Whenever I listen to this record, I feel like I'm on stage with the band. It's not flabby at all, but an intense and driving set of electric live Miles.
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26 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jazz for Motorhead fans, 8 Jun 2001
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A. D. R. MARKS "adrmarks" (Warwickshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dark Magus (Audio CD)
Lest you think the tagline above is a gag, I was alternating my headphone listening in my office this week between 'Dark Magus' and 'Best of Motorhead' and the perceived mood was much the same (I have what could best be described as 'eclectic' tastes).

Dark Magus is a loud, heavy and unsettling beast of a record (it recently made Q magazine's top 50 heaviest albums of all time list) and I rather like it that way. Miles isn't merely rocking, he's rocking bloody HARD. If you liked 'In a Silent Way' but were rather intimidated by the thought of Bitches Brew then this album will scare you to death, but if you're open to challenging music, then this will appeal. A lot of 'rock' fans have difficulty embracing jazz (and vice versa) but if you come from a rock background (and ironically, the more extreme your tastes the better in this instance) this may well be your way into the wonderful world of Jazz.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This music makes me feel unwell (in a good way), 27 Feb 2004
This review is from: Dark Magus (Audio CD)
First of all, the 2nd CD in this double Live set is worth the admission price alone. It features some HEAVY playing from both Miles and his guitartist Pete Cosey. Plus Miles gets all lo-fi and starts mucking about with an organ, it sounds amazing, and it will rearrange your understanding of how electronic experimentalism entered popular music.
Pete Cosey sounds like Hendrix jamming in the heart of the sun.
The percussion playing is also very interesting, very organic and funky.
The first CD is a bit flabby, it sounds as if the band are trying to catch up with each other. Theres too much bad-saxophone playing.
If your a fan of Miles's Electric Period you LOVE this, If you regard yourself as chemically-challenged you'll LOVE this.
Lie back, get 'comfortable' and wig out to some SERIOUS astro-funk...
"Can you get to that?"
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars gukgjk, 19 May 2008
This review is from: Dark Magus (Audio CD)
The fact that Dark Magus wasn't released outside of Japan until recently (and wasn't performed within the boundaries of the human concepts of time and space) means that it will never garner the respect it deserves, but there's just no accounting for the ground beneath your feet shuddering and moaning in pain when you turn it up loud enough. Jazz from the limits, funky as hell and deceptively evil.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!!, 12 Mar 2014
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Mrs. L. Down - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dark Magus (Audio CD)
What an amazing cd and an amazing artist.A must buy for anyone.Great music to listen too at any time of the day or night.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dark Magus: Live at Carnegie Hall- Miles Davis, 29 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Dark Magus: Live at Carnegie Hall (Audio CD)
This is probably the most experimental music Davis recorded. It is an aural stew of churning, gurgling, sometimes atonal, harmolodic , jazzy, funky musics of varying volume and intensity. Davis draws on a wide range of influences here ranging from Stockhausen to Hendrix to Sly Stone. The music is uncategorisable now, never mind then, and it is easy to see why so many unadventurous critics couldn't get to grips with it. However, that is their stupid fault for being unable or unwilling to drop their preconceptions and allow this complex music that is about texture, rhythm and timbre rather than conventional song structure and harmony to just 'be' [in the Heideggerian sense, my friends..]. Don't expect anything...just listen. You will hear the most wonderful sounds any ensemble could make. This music was years and years ahead of its time, and it makes some of the so-called 'experimental' music of the 70s and 80s look limp and amateurish in comparison. The wonderful thing about Davis, and this is also the case with artists like Brian Eno and Robert Wyatt, is that he knew perfectly well that there are no limits and boundaries in music but he chose to pull back a little from the most extreme position, retaining an audience.

I would recommend 'Dark Magus' to anyone with intelligence and imagination. My only gripe is the unutterably pathetic quality of the double cd packaging. The cd case, made of thinner than usual plastic, literally broke into pieces when I attempted to dislodge the cd. Never mind, the music is wonderful.
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7 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Audio Torture!, 24 Aug 2010
By 
Mr. D. Wyatt - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dark Magus: Live at Carnegie Hall (Audio CD)
This is typical of Miles' early to mid-seventies live recordings. Just a lot of disorganised noise with screeching "electric" trumpet from the leader and the rest of the band trying to work out what they're supposed to be playing. Tune titles mean absolutely nothing as it all sounds the same, an insult to the listener. It's just an awful noise, best summed up by a recent interview with one of Miles' sidemen of the time who said that for most of the time he hadn't a clue what was going on once they took to the stage! They were probably all on a "drugs high" - at least it sounds that way. This in on a par with the awful later Coltrane stuff.
This period of Davis's recording career, although generally maligned, was not all bad though. The studio recordings such as "Silent Way", "Bitches Brew", "Live Evil", "Get Up With It" and yes, "On The Corner" are "must have" classics for Miles devotees, such as myself. Best to avoid the live stuff!
In my opinion, the comeback years from 1981 onwards,both studio and live, dismissed as pop-funk by some, provided more listenable material, especially when Marcus Miller came on the scene."Live Around The World" is a great album from this period (See my review).
Meanwhile, I think I'll listen to my copy of the wonderful 1964 Philarmonic Hall recording to restore my faith in Mr. Davis's music....
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Dark Magus: Live at Carnegie Hall
Dark Magus: Live at Carnegie Hall by Miles Davis (Audio CD - 1997)
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