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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Underrated album showing yet another side of Miles' music
The first of two albums taken from the same concert in 1975, the other being 'Pangaea.' They represent a full stop at the end of Miles'70s experiments before his five year 'retirement.' It had been arguably Miles' most creative phase of his career, and here, predictably, things are still changing and developing.
'Agharta' is probably the more approachable of the two...
Published on 15 Mar 2003 by Adam Ventress

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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quality reissue urgently required
Great album, but this reissue is over 15 years old, it needs updating with paper sleeve (the artwork is also fantastic), and decent liner notes (same true for Pangea). I wouldn't buy until this appears.
Published on 13 Sep 2010 by Stu P.


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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Underrated album showing yet another side of Miles' music, 15 Mar 2003
By 
Adam Ventress (Lancashire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Agharta (Audio CD)
The first of two albums taken from the same concert in 1975, the other being 'Pangaea.' They represent a full stop at the end of Miles'70s experiments before his five year 'retirement.' It had been arguably Miles' most creative phase of his career, and here, predictably, things are still changing and developing.
'Agharta' is probably the more approachable of the two records.
The sound is often dense, characterised by dual electric guitars and layers of percussion, as well as Miles' electric trumpet, frequently voiced through a wah wah pedal, adding a further dimension to his playing, as the harmon mute had for so long. Miles said he was looking for a 'deep African groove' and there is certainly something of that here, especially on the opening 'Prelude,' which is irresistably funky, with first Miles' trumpet then Sonny Fortune's sax dancing over the exuberant rhythm.
'Mayisha' is quieter, largely a feature for Fortune's excellent flute work.
On disc two, the tracks seem to me to be listed the wrong way round, as the opening of 'Interlude' is definately from 'Jack Johnson.' To avoid confusion, though, I will refer to them as they are tracklisted.
'Interlude' contains mood changes from fast and furious, to bluesy, to slow and eerie. Miles is on excellent form on this one.
'Theme from Jack Johnson' is a simmering, brooding piece mainly featuring the two guitarists, Miles on organ and Fortune on flute.
Miles' own trumpet playing has a fragile sound and tends to feature most in the quieter passages. As ever, his solos are spacious and inventive, sometimes mournful and reflective as on 'Jack Johnson' sometimes bluesy as on 'Interlude' and sometimes fast and lively as on 'Prelude.' He uses the wah wah pedal brilliantly to create echo, texture and atmosphere, letting the pedal in and out slowly over a note or phrase.
The contributions from the two guitarists are important, but not always appropriate. While the guitar work on 'Jack Johnson' is spot on, Cosey's solo on 'Prelude' is overly elaborate, harsh and abrasive. In contrast, Fortune doesn't put a foot wrong; his flute solos are dellcate and songful and his sax work both soulful and blistering.
All in all these are remarkable improvisations in a live setting with fine musicianship, and showing Miles to be as creative and forward thinking as ever, despite very poor health which led to his five years silence.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, 27 Feb 2008
This review is from: Agharta (Audio CD)
I do really like some of Miles' post 1981 stuff but it never really reached the heights of his earlier innovations, the two great quintets and then the "funk" period. At the point that the two albums (that marked the end of his playing and public appearances and the beginning of his 6 year hiatus) Miles' art had developed into a free flowing tumbling mix of tunes and themes that the band had to keep up with on the run. This is such wonderful stuff but it required total commitment and Miles was showing the signs of the strain (see Ian Carr's biography for details, Miles' autobiography has a certain interest but does not engender the sympathies of the reader)Both Pangaea and Agharta were recorded on the same day, February 1 1975, and the quality of the playing is top notch. I have the original CD versions of these albums and I have long desired that they be re-issued in re-mastered form. Japan seems to get all the re-mastered albums before we do in UK and I await their arrival keenly
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, 25 Sep 2009
By 
Amazon Customer (North London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Agharta (Audio CD)
Have loved this album and Pangaea since their first release.

I would like to offer a perspective on Miles's trumpet sound during these albums.

This review is from: Miles to Go: The Lost Years by Chris Murphy - Chris's experience of living and working with Miles as his Roadie from 1973 to 1976 and 1981 to 1983.

There is one story about Miles at the time of the 1975 Agharta and Pangaea live recordings which was so touching. Chris explains the pain and pathos in his trumpet solos on these sessions were a real reflection of the actual body pain he was experiencing whilst playing. The conversation that followed when Miles came off stage was this; Chris said, "Miles, that had all the pain in the world in it." Miles turned to Chris and smiled and said, "It's supposed to." Now that is Miles living and performing in the moment.

This says it all!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A dark masterpiece, 5 May 2012
By 
H. S. Crow - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Agharta (Audio CD)
I find quite a lot of the 69 to 75 live recordings lacking coherence but this and its companion piece are my favourite concert recordings of the period. Live Evil has many stand out moments but McLaughlin spoils it for me as he almost sounds over dubbed; I wasn't surprised to hear that he wasn't a regular member of that touring band but was roped in for the recording according to the original sleeve notes.
Dark Magus by comparison seems much less expansive and the recording quality leaves a lot to be desired. Note. I generally really appreciate McLaughlin's contributions but he seems lost on Live Evil.
So not exactly easy listening especially compared to the extended Jack Johnson and In a Silent Way sets but my favourite Miles of all time.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quality reissue urgently required, 13 Sep 2010
By 
Stu P. "Stu" (Waterlooville, Hants United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Agharta (Audio CD)
Great album, but this reissue is over 15 years old, it needs updating with paper sleeve (the artwork is also fantastic), and decent liner notes (same true for Pangea). I wouldn't buy until this appears.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Original recording remastered? I don't think so!, 29 April 2012
By 
J. G. Hastie "GogolH" (SCOTLAND) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Agharta (Audio CD)
I'm not aware of Agharta or indeed Pangaea having been remastered and reissued, other than the bog-standard versions (with, in Agharta's case, a different cover for some reason) issued in the 90s - it's about that time, Columbia! I have the Japanese editions of both, and they sound great. I suspect that the sound of the version on offer here will be a disappointment to anyone who knows the original vinyl version. Outstanding and revolutionary music, of course.
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7 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 7 Aug 2009
By 
T. Russell (Co. Down, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Agharta (Audio CD)
I am a huge fan of Miles' 70s stuff (Jack Johnson, Big Fun, Get Up With It, Live-Evil, etc) but after reading a lot about this (and the companion-piece Pangaea) I found them both a real let down.
The live sound is not good, and most of the pieces on Agharta are non-stop funk/rock grooves with slightly annoying solos over the top.
OK, I'm being a little too critical, but I am comparing this to the 5 star majesty of his studio stuff and the Fillmore live albums next to which I can easily live without this.
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