Pangaea (album)

Pangaea is a live album by American jazz trumpeter, composer, and bandleader Miles Davis. It was originally released as a double album in 1976 by CBS Sony in Japan.

Live album by
RecordedFebruary 1, 1975
VenueFestival Hall in Osaka
LabelCBS Sony
ProducerTeo Macero
Miles Davis chronology
Water Babies

Recorded during Davis' electric period, the album captures the second of two concerts he performed on February 1, 1975, at Osaka's Festival Hall. As with the first concert (captured on the 1975 album Agharta), Davis led a band featuring guitarists Pete Cosey and Reggie Lucas, saxophonist Sonny Fortune, bassist Michael Henderson, drummer Al Foster, and percussionist James Mtume.

Composition and performanceEdit

Both Pangaea and its predecessor Agharta were recorded on February 1, 1975, in Osaka, Japan, at the Festival Hall. The Agharta concert took place during an afternoon matinee, whereas Pangaea was recorded in the evening.[3] This 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".[4] According to discographer Peter Losin, the first track contains performances of "Turnaroundphrase", "Tune in 5", "Turnaroundphrase" again, "Tune in 5" again and "Zimbabwe" (not to be confused with the actual medley recording's title). The second track contains performances of "Ife", and "For Dave (Mr. Foster)", performed in that order.


The album was first released exclusively in Japan by CBS Sony in 1976.[5] It did not see release anywhere else until 1991, when in May that year, Columbia Records released Pangaea on CD in the United States, as part of the label's Columbia Jazz Contemporary Masters reissue program.[5][6]

Critical receptionEdit

Retrospective professional reviews
Review scores
AllMusic     [2]
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    [4]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide     [13]
Tom Hull – on the WebB+[14]

In The Village Voice, Robert Christgau gave Pangaea's 1991 CD reissue an honorable mention, citing "Zimbabwe" as the highlight while lamenting the flute playing and scant track listing.[15] Davis biographer Jack Chambers found the performance "vastly" inferior to Agharta,[5] as did Paul Tingen, who lamented Davis' reduced presence and role directing his band. Tingen also observed "a sense of tiredness and drift", which he attributed to the septet having played the first concert earlier 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 here 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".[4] Furthermore, Cook and Morton write that 'Miles's trumpet playing on these bruising, unconscionable records is of the highest and most adventurous order...'[17] 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.[18]


As with several other of Davis' live albums from the period, Pangaea became an influence on several no wave and funk artists.[19] Highbrow new wave and punk rock musicians, including Tom Verlaine of Television and Robert Quine, were also influenced by the album after managing to obtain copies as an import from Japan.[20]

Track listingEdit

1976 LPEdit

Side one
1."Zimbabwe" (Part 1)20:25
Side two
1."Zimbabwe" (Part 2)21:13
Side three
1."Gondwana" (Part 1)23:23
Side four
1."Gondwana" (Part 2)23:57

1991 CDEdit

Disc one
Disc two
  • "Gondwana" runs a length of 49:46 on the album's 1996 Japanese reissue.




  • Producer – Teo Macero
  • Director – Keiichi Nakamura
  • Engineer – Tamoo Suzuki
  • Assistant Engineer – Mitsuru Kasai, Takaaki Amano
  • Package Coordination – Tony Tiller
  • Artwork – Teruhisa Tajima [ja]



  1. ^ Stafford, Andrew (2006). Pig City: From the Saints to Savage Garden. University of Queensland Press. ISBN 070223561X. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  2. ^ a b c "Pangaea – Miles Davis". Allmusic. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
  3. ^ Tingen 2001, p. 165.
  4. ^ a b c Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian (2006). The Penguin Guide to Jazz (8th ed.). Penguin Books. p. 326. ISBN 0141023279.
  5. ^ a b c Chambers 1998, p. 275.
  6. ^ Anon. (1995). "D". Schwann Spectrum. 7 (1): 240.
  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 978-1423430766.
  9. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). "Miles Davis". Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-0857125958.
  10. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2004). "Miles Davis". The Great Rock Discography (7th ed.). Canongate U.S. ISBN 1841956155.
  11. ^ a b 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. ^ a b Considine, J. D. (2004). "Miles Davis". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. p. 215. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  14. ^ Hull, Tom (n.d.). "Grade List: Miles Davis". Tom Hull – on the Web. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
  15. ^ Christgau, Robert (November 5, 1991). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
  16. ^ Tingen 2001, p. 165-166.
  17. ^ Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian (2006). The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD (6th ed.). London: Penguin. p. 382.
  18. ^ "Pazz & Jop 1990". The Village Voice. New York. March 5, 1991. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  19. ^ Pareles, Jon (September 29, 1991). "Miles Davis, Trumpeter, Dies; Jazz Genius, 65, Defined Cool". The New York Times. Retrieved November 20, 2012.
  20. ^ Palmer, Robert (1985). "Miles Davis Revives His Bad-Guy Image with a Pop Album". The New York Times. Archived from the original on March 11, 2014. Retrieved November 28, 2016.


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