Miles' Music Recomposed - Excellent Work by Laswell
Talking Wall | Queen Creek, AZ | 06/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I don't know why any one who likes Miles' music from this period would not like this CD or have a problem with it conceptually. I have a HUGE library of Miles' music and have read many books about the man, his music and the process used to create much of the music found on Miles' Columbia (Sony) releases. Look, when this music was recorded, tape ran continuously in the studio. Teo Macero, Miles' producer would then "compose" or "sculpt" finished pieces by editing the material together. This is precisely how EVERYTHING from In a Silent Way up to On the Corner was done. Generally, Miles' had very little to do with the work Teo was doing in creating the finished product - Despite the "Directions in Music by Miles Davis" proclamation found on the records released in the late 60's and early 70's. Essentially, Laswell is just doing the same thing Teo did with those original tracks. Yeah yeah, he adds a little background ambience with a synth or perhaps tape loops to pull the pieces in the suites together. Big deal. Teo did the same sort of thing slap in the middle of In A Silent Way and A Tribute to Jack Johnson. And let's not even get started on what Teo did to the live Cellar Door material on Live-Evil and Miles at Fillmore. Talk about heavy-handed!
Listen: Nevermind the so-called purists and nay-sayers. If they understood the process used to create the original works, they wouldn't be complaining. This CD is terrific! Especially the second suite with Black Satin, What If, and Agharta Dub - ah, and Rated-X gets a new treatment that I feel is actually BETTER than the mix we got on Get Up With It. The band's "stop-starts" where the band is repeatedly edited out and replaced with that evil-sounding organ aren't nearly as heavy handed as those Teo created in that piece. If you are a fan of this period of Miles' music, fear not. Don't worry about purchasing something you already have, Laswell's edits are completely different than Teo's so you ARE going to hear something new... sort of."
A Must-have for Miles Fans
Karl W. Nehring | Ostrander, OH USA | 07/06/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This CD is subtitled "reconstruction and mix translation by Bill Laswell." What Laswell has done is to take original tapes from the Columbia vaults--some from what appeared on the regular release, some from sessions that were edited out of the final releases--and remix them in richer, fuller, and punchier sound. Now, that might sound like heresy, but all I can say is that Panthalassa is a marvelous CD, one of the most exciting jazz releases I've heard in a long time. And no, I do not think of it as a Bill Laswell recording--although I certainly appreciate and applaud his efforts--but as a Miles Davis recording.
If this CD did nothing more than work some remix magic on In a Silent Way, it would be worth every cent of its asking price, but it does much, much more, resurrecting music from On the Corner and Get Up with It, making it all fresh and exciting again, with much better sound than we have ever heard before. For Miles Davis fans, Panthalassa is a must-hear."