Panthalassa: The Music of Miles Davis 1969–1974

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For the 1999 remix album, see Panthalassa: The Remixes.
Panthalassa: The Music of Miles Davis 1969-1974
Remix album by Miles Davis
Released February 16, 1998
Genre Jazz fusion, ambient[1]
Length 59:38
Label Sony
Miles Davis chronology
Live Around the World
(1996)
Panthalassa: The Music of Miles Davis 1969-1974
(1998)
Love Songs
(1999)

Panthalassa: The Music of Miles Davis 1969–1974 is a remix album by Miles Davis, released on February 16, 1998, by Sony Records. It contains compositions from prior albums, including In a Silent Way, On the Corner and Get Up With It, remixed by Bill Laswell. The album is composed as a dark, continuous tone poem divided by four sections of Davis' jazz fusion recordings. Panthalassa received generally positive reviews from music critics and sold well,[2] charting at number four on the Billboard Top Jazz Albums.[3]

Composition[edit]

An ambient, jazz fusion album,[1] Panthalassa is divided into four sections and composed as dark and continuous chronological tone poem of remixed songs recorded by Davis during his "electric" period.[4] The album's first track serves as a reordered and truncated version of Davis' 1969 jazz fusion album In a Silent Way.[5] It is followed by 16 minutes of remixed music from the On the Corner sessions and approximately half-an-hour of music from Get Up with It. Laswell was offered access to the original multi-track tapes and occasionally deleted the rhythm sections, brought up obscured instruments, added Indian and electronic droning sounds, constructed moody transitions, and premiered previously unreleased passages from Davis' sessions. The album's On the Corner section showcased two new songs—the elaborate rock and funk of "What If" and the ominous march-like "Agharta Prelude Dub".[4]

Critical reception[edit]

Panthalassa received generally positive reviews from music critics.[2] The Wire called the album an "ambient fusion power force which breathed new life into the originals without detracting from Davis's artistic intentions", and credited Laswell for "teasing out the music's spiritual dimension".[1] Steve Futterman of Entertainment Weekly gave it a "B+" and felt that its "most radical quality is the reverence that Laswell pays to his sources." He wrote that, whether the remixes are "rhythmically bustling or meditative," they "seethe with Davis' still-startling visions."[6] Joshua Klein of The A.V. Club commented that the reordered songs do not "sound out of context" and commended Laswell for helping "shed more light on these somewhat unsung, albeit suddenly trendy, masterpieces."[5] Allmusic's Richard S. Ginell gave the album four out of five stars and stated, "despite the altered sonic landscape, Laswell accurately evokes in turns the lonely, exquisitely gleaming, nightmarish, despairing moods that Davis was exploring prior to his 1975 retirement".[4] Robert Christgau of The Village Voice gave it an "A" and said that he will play it as often as In a Silent Way and A Tribute to Jack Johnson.[7] He felt that listeners unfamiliar with Davis' fusion albums will find it to be "a passport to provisional utopia":

Metastructures condensed, themes highlighted, beats punched up by a master tinkerer who's loved them forever, the transcendent buzz of electric Miles nevertheless remains undulant, unpredictable, perverse—and so relaxed about getting where it's not actually going that newcomers will find it hard to imagine how much more unhurriedly it might arrive.[7]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Music Length
1. "In a Silent Way[8] / Shhh/Peaceful[8] / It's About That Time[8]"   Miles Davis, Joe Zawinul 15:20
2. "Black Satin[9] / What If / Agharta Prelude Dub"   Davis 16:06
3. "Rated X[10] / Billy Preston[10]"   Davis 14:34
4. "He Loved Him Madly[11]"   Davis 13:38

Personnel[edit]

Original recordings[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Soundcheck". The Wire (London) 210: 59. 2001. 
  2. ^ a b Kenney, Joe (March 26, 2008). "Davis (Mixed by Bill Laswell) - Panthalassa: The Music of Miles Davis 1969-1974". Head Heritage. Retrieved January 28, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Panthalassa: The Music of Miles Davis 1969-1974 - Miles Davis : Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved January 28, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c Ginell, Richard S. (2011). "Panthalassa: The Music of Miles Davis 1969-1974 - Miles Davis | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 8 August 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Klein, Joshua (March 29, 2002). "Bill Laswell: Panthalassa: The Music Of Miles Davis 1969-1974, Reconstruction & Mix Translation By Bill Laswell". The A.V. Club (Chicago). Retrieved February 23, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Panthalassa: The Music of Miles Davis 1969-1974 Review". Entertainment Weekly (New York) (431). May 8, 1998. Retrieved February 23, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (June 2, 1998). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice (Village Voice Media). Retrieved 2011-12-23. 
  8. ^ a b c From the 1969 album In a Silent Way
  9. ^ From the 1972 album On the Corner
  10. ^ a b Recorded in 1972, first released on the 1974 album Get Up with It
  11. ^ From the 1974 album Get Up with It

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]