Pangaea (album)

Live album by Miles Davis
Released 1976
Recorded February 1, 1975
Venue Festival Hall in Osaka
Genre Jazz-rock,[1] funk[2]
Length 88:38
Label Columbia
Producer Teo Macero
Miles Davis chronology
Water Babies

Pangaea is a double album recorded by jazz trumpeter Miles Davis. It was released in 1976 in Japan.[3] Both Pangaea and its predecessor Agharta (1975) were recorded on February 1, in Osaka, Japan, at the Festival Hall. The Agharta concert took place during an afternoon matinee, whereas Pangaea was recorded in the evening.[4]


The album's music was split into two tracks, "Zimbabwe" and "Gondwana", the latter of which was the name of the ancient supercontinent, as was "Pangaea".[5] According to music scholar Enrico Merlin, the two tracks contain performances of the segments originally developed by Davis under the titles "Moja", "Willie Nelson on Tune in 5", "Nne", "Zimbabwe", "Ife", and "Wili (= for Dave)", performed in that order.[6]

Like Agharta, Pangaea was originally released in Japan in 1975, after Davis retired from music. The 1975 Japanese-edition LP released by CBS/Sony included a 7-page booklet with photos and Japanese text. It was digitally remastered in 1990 and released for the first time in the United States as part of the Columbia Jazz Contemporary Masters CD series.

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
Christgau's Consumer Guide[7]
Down Beat[8]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music[9]
The Great Rock Discography6/10[10]
Los Angeles Times[11]
MusicHound Jazz5/5[12]
The Penguin Guide to Jazz[5]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[13]

In The Village Voice, Robert Christgau gave Pangaea an honorable mention, citing "Zimbabwe" as the highlight while lamenting the flute playing and scant track listing.[14] Davis biographer Jack Chambers found it "vastly" inferior to Agharta,[15] as did Paul Tingen, who lamented Davis' reduced presence and role directing his septet. He also observed "a sense of tiredness and drift" from having played the first concert that day: "There are several extended periods during which the band just plays out the grooves, waiting for Miles to give the next cue."[16] In the Los Angeles Times, Bill Kohlhaase called Pangaea "a striking personal soundtrack of decline that, like Miles himself, suffers from exhaustion before playing itself out".[11]

AllMusic's Thom Jurek was more enthusiastic. Although he found the band less impressive than on Agharta, Jurek said some individual members stood out more on Pangaea, which he found just "as relentless" and "plenty satisfying".[2] J. D. Considine rated it half-a-star higher than Agharta in The Rolling Stone Album Guide.[13] In The Penguin Guide to Jazz, Richard Cook and Brian Morton wrote that like its predecessor, Pangaea's lengthy performances combined musical forms from African-American genres with Karlheinz Stockhausen's "conception of a 'world music' that moves like creeping tectonic plates".[5] At the end of 1991, Pangaea was voted the ninth best reissue of the year in the Pazz & Jop, an annual poll of American critics published in The Village Voice.[17]

As with several other of Davis' live albums from the period, Pangaea became an influence on several no wave[18] and sophisticated new wave and punk rock musicians, including Tom Verlaine of Television and Robert Quine.[19]

Track listing

Disc one
  1. "Zimbabwe" – 41:48
Disc two
  1. "Gondwana" – 46:50 (49:46 on 2000 Japanese remaster)





  1. Stafford, Andrew (2006). Pig City: From the Saints to Savage Garden. University of Queensland Press. ISBN 070223561X. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  2. 1 2 3 "Pangaea - Miles Davis". Allmusic. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
  3. Chambers 1998, pp. 275.
  4. Tingen 2001, p. 165.
  5. 1 2 3 Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian (2006). The Penguin Guide to Jazz (8th ed.). Penguin Books. p. 326. ISBN 0141023279.
  6. Tingen 2001, p. 329.
  7. Christgau, Robert (2000). Christgau's Consumer Guide: Albums of the '90s. Macmillan Publishers. p. 73. ISBN 0-312-24560-2.
  8. Alkyer, Frank; Enright, Ed; Koransky, Jason, eds. (2007). The Miles Davis Reader. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 306. ISBN 142343076X.
  9. Larkin, Colin (2011). "Miles Davis". Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0857125958.
  10. Strong, Martin C. (2004). "Miles Davis". The Great Rock Discography (7th ed.). Canongate U.S. ISBN 1841956155.
  11. 1 2 Kohlhaase, Bill (March 17, 1991). "Jazz : Album Review: *** Miles Davis : 'Pangaea' : Columbia". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  12. Holtje, Steve; Lee, Nancy Ann, eds. (1998). "Miles Davis". MusicHound Jazz: The Essential Album Guide. Music Sales Corporation. ISBN 0825672538.
  13. 1 2 Considine, J. D. (2004). "Miles Davis". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. p. 215. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  14. Christgau, Robert (November 5, 1991). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
  15. Chambers, Jack (1998). Milestones: The Life and Times of Miles Davis. Da Capo Press. p. 275. ISBN 0-306-80849-8.
  16. Tingen 2001, p. 165-166.
  17. "Pazz & Jop 1990". The Village Voice. New York. March 5, 1991. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  18. Pareles, Jon (September 29, 1991). "Miles Davis, Trumpeter, Dies; Jazz Genius, 65, Defined Cool". The New York Times. Retrieved November 20, 2012.
  19. Palmer, Robert (1985). "Miles Davis Revives His Bad-Guy Image with a Pop Album". The New York Times. Archived from the original on August 11, 2013. Retrieved November 28, 2016.

External links

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