on 28 September 2002
I really think that five star reviews are handed out far too much. Anything less always seems to mean the music isn't any good, but here that is definitely not the case. THis is a really amazing album testifying to Miles' real versatility. He didn't compose this music but he's playing as if this is his music- not only does it sound like this is 'his' genre, you can hear all the years experience from other genres up in the music too.
I disagree with the previous person because true Miles fans recognise that his career didn't just span 15 years, it spanned 50 so he's bound to play some really different music in these times. This CD is a particularly different idea. The music is NOT AT ALL like Schoenberg. ITs far more accessible, and like all good music, you have to give it time and concentrate on the different sounds, atmospheres and 'auras'
For instance track 2 reminds me of Irish music- the trumpet opening. Track 6 is extremely mysterious and quite spiritual. The oboe sound is haunting, and the bass moving underneath in their different paths. ITs like you're in a cave and theres all these different things independent of each other like dripping water and footsteps and the sound you'd expect a shaft of light to make if it did make sound.
in short its an evocative CD and definitely more accessible than some of the stuff in 69/70. Not for starter Miles fans but great for the mature listener.
on 16 April 2015
Aura is a bit of an odd thing. It's ambitious and wide.
Can very well imagine why it is one of the projects that were rated by Miles himself as one of the highlights of his career.
Miles was searching for fusing the music, bringing it to a wide public on one hand and at the same time elevate it to a higher level in the sense of layering in the other. Part of that was the abillity to excell on the wings of the caracter of the players around him. He gave them space to add their own part and influence and kept the bands together in subtle directing while playing. Here he is playing a role in a large orchestral band that brings-up a tonespectrum that is connecting to the sound of a contemporary concert, but also connects with the typical elements of his time; the connection to Rock and Blues, Jazzrock and some musical elements from Non-western origin..
It is a bit dated now, but still a product that speaks. Miles weaves his tones and typical ways of interacting into the movement.
This is different from other pieces, but also has the feel of Mahavishnu Orchestra sometimes, probably because John McLaughlin is playing a strong part here and of Bitches Brew a bit in others, but mostly brings in a new wave of sounds produced by all these new musicians that helped and followed him here.
Very interesting indeed because it goes a bit beyond expectations and therefor needs an extra open ear..
Never heard this one yet, enjoyed it for leading back in time and felt a bit as if getting another clue in the Historic Miles-and-Jazz-puzzle. !
If like me you can appreciate Miles in his electronic funk mode viz: 'We Want Miles', 'Decoy' and 'You're Under Arrest' then 'Aura' could be an interesting new avenue to investigate.
The work of Miles in the 1980's + tends to be either ignored or slated. Could it be time for a reappraisal? Well on the evidence of my ears, latter day Miles certainly has its merits and 'Aura' would be a prime example of how adventurous the great man could be when in the right company, as he certainly is here. Aura' was essentially happenstance: working with composer Palle Mikelborg on a one -off basis produced a recording unlike anything else Miles had created previously. The music was more or less composed, all Miles had do was come in and play his stuff and leave the rest to Mr Mikelborg.
'Aura' is an funk, jazz, rock, affair-it feels rather chilly like an ECM production, but the playing, quality of writing and general variety of mood more then make up for any lack of Human warmth. It fuses modern electronic sounds and orchestral arrangements to create either highly atmospheric mood pieces or fiercely rhythmic vamps allowing Miles and John McLaughlin who plays brilliantly here)a platform for extended soloing, a task they sound more then happy to take up.
'Aura' repays concentrated listening - its hidden textures and interesting quirky melodies and rhythms sustain interest and excitement- so if you have a spare fiver it's definitely worth a punt!
on 4 September 2011
I heard a section of this many years ago and recall liking it, but hey it must be me who's changed,'mellowed.'
I believe Miles called it "a masterpiece," So what,so what... If you don't get,you don't get it!Maybe you will?