Along with its sister recording, Pangaea, Agharta was recorded live in February of 1975 at the Osaka Festival Hall in Japan. Amazingly enough, given that these are arguably Davis' two greatest electric live records, they were recorded the same day. Agharta was performed in the afternoon and Pangaea in the evening. Of the two, Agharta is superior. The band with Davis – saxophonist Sonny Fortune, guitarists Pete Cosey (lead) and Reggie Lucas (rhythm), bassist Michael Henderson, drummer Al Foster, and percussionist James Mtume – was a group who had their roots in the radically streetwise music recorded on 1972's On the Corner, and they are brought to fruition here.
Miles Davis's final Columbia recording (other than Aura which was released several years later) includes his straightforward ballad interpretations of Cyndy Lauper's "Time After Time" and the Michael Jackson-associated "Human Nature," two songs he would play in most of his concerts for the remainder of his life. Other tunes (including "You're Under Arrest," "One Phone Call" and "Ms. Morrisine") were quickly discarded. In addition to Davis (who had regained his earlier chops) tenor-saxophonist Bob Berg, guitarist John Scofield and guest John McLaughlin get in a few decent solos on this competent but not overly memorable effort.
The explosive transformation of Miles Davis’ “second great Quintet” with Wayne Shorter (tenor sax), Herbie Hancock (piano), Ron Carter (bass), and Tony Williams (drums) is laid bare on this release. Culled from original state-owned television and radio sources in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, and Sweden, the program spans five northern European festival performances over the course of nine days in October-November 1967. The audio shows consist entirely of previously unreleased or previously only bootlegged material. This is a 3-CD + DVD package, with an 8-panel digipak with 28-page booklet.
Massive electric Miles from the same Japanese tour that gave the world the Panagaea and Agharta albums – tracks that were recorded ten days before the concert that appeared on those records, with different songs as well! The music is a dark brew of funk, fusion, and some surprisingly spiritual currents – thanks to wonderful work from Sonny Fortune on alto, soprano sax, and flute – working here alongside guitarist Pete Cosey, who provides plenty of the fuzzier, freakier moments of the set – as does keyboardist Reggie Lucas! Al Foster's drumming is wonderful – and Michael Henderson's bass will blow you away if you only know his later smoother soul albums – but as usual, Miles is the star once he opens up his horn and steps into the darkness.
Rare deluxe compilation that sounds and looks in all ways amazing. Some great picks on here in Miles' own Deception, Gerry Mulligan's Jeru or Baden Powell's Budo for starters. Lovely audophile piece in lovely taste.
Miles Davis published more than 40 albums during his lifetime. The classics "Kind Of Blue", "Sketches Of Spain" and "Bitches Brew" should have even less jazz-interested listeners in their collection. "Miles Deep" now approaches the big man's work on sidewalks: through fantastic live versions and less well-known studios.