Review Summary: An electrifying perfromance
Miles Davis has always been the kind of musician that has never been content in settling with just one genre. Often experimenting, and fusing musical approaches to create something fresh. The mid 1970's was a peculiar time for music. Psychedelia was beginning to dwindle down and music was becoming less experimental and more jubilant. Disco music was beginning to grow in popularity, and people were looking for music to enjoy, something instantly perceptual and not necessarily abstract. Though of course there were artists, like Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin, who were still writing more intellectual compositions, but they were indeed the minority. Catchy was quickly replacing artistic, and yet again, Miles Davis fell into the trend. Funk music was at an all time high within the African-American classes, and acts like James Brown and George Clinton were reigning over the genre. In albums like On The Corner
and Big Fun
, we saw the beginning of Miles Davis incorporating Funk elements with his usual Jazz music.
we find Miles Davis further exploring the possibilities of Funk music, only this time fusing it with the aggressive rock-stylings of Bitches Brew
and the atmospheric nuances of In A Silent Way
. In the opening number, "Prelude"
, we see the musicians taking apart genres and rebuilding them into a completely different sound. This piece is much more reminiscent of Rock than Jazz, as the music is produced by a prominent guitar-driven sound. "Prelude"
is all Miles Davis and Pete Cosey, who flow in and out of perception with eruptions of frantic solos. There is a very cosmic sound that is being produced fromt he instruments, and the primary catalyst of this erratic style for the most part is Pete Cosey. We constantly hear him experimenting with a variety of guitar effects that create a surrealistic atmosphere throughout. He's very abrasive with his guitar playing technique, his sound is very distorted and bombards the listener with such prowess. But of course, even Pete Cosey's anomalous methods are not enough to eclipse the star of the show. Miles Davis is as potent as ever. And as always, he works at his own pace, and releases a variety of soloistic flaunts while often playing off of saxophonist Sonny Fortune's augmentations. There is definitely a higher level of energy in this performance, but it also displays some reminiscence of moody psychedelia.
displays a much more diverse musical style. It presents itself as a delicate piece, but reveals a more aggressive side during it's progression. Sonny Fortune really takes charge of the piece with some elegant flute soloing in the beginning before the other musicians alter the musical landscape into progressive ambiences, smooth Jazz passages, and explosive guitar outbursts that seem to forget that this is not a rock concert. In the second half of the album, within "Theme From Jack Johnson"
, we find ourselves voyaging through more realms of ambient spaces, as well as a descend into a more intense explosion of fiery Jazz Fusion with Miles Davis executing some of his finest trumpet solos to date. Aghartha is a truly exciting release from Miles Davis, and is perhaps one of his most energetic performances from the electric period. Aghartha displays some incredibly dextrous musicianship all throughout, especially from Pete Cosey who practically steals the show with his deploys of Hendrix-inspired electrical distorting devices. I highly recommend this album to any fans of Miles Davis, it highly differs from the atmospheric sound of his previous electric albums, as it contains a more elevated and aggressive style that will be sure to please any fan of Jazz Fusion.