Jean-Luc Ponty has been the premier jazz violinist of the past 3 decades. He is one of the few jazz musicians to have numerous albums make the Billboard charts, 12 of them to be exact. Of his extensive catalog on Atlantic... more » Records, only one of those albums has never made it to CD, until now! Live was originally issued in 1979 and rose to # 68 on the charts. Fans have been screamin' for this one! Wounded Bird. 2003.« less
Jean-Luc Ponty has been the premier jazz violinist of the past 3 decades. He is one of the few jazz musicians to have numerous albums make the Billboard charts, 12 of them to be exact. Of his extensive catalog on Atlantic Records, only one of those albums has never made it to CD, until now! Live was originally issued in 1979 and rose to # 68 on the charts. Fans have been screamin' for this one! Wounded Bird. 2003.
Jeff Arenson | Colorado Springs, CO United States | 01/25/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"At last the last CD from Jean-Luc's Atlantic years is here. This is my favorite and in my opinion the best CD that Ponty has ever created. That is saying a lot, because I have given 5 stars to many Ponty discs. If I could, I would give this six. I would place this disc in the top five fusion albums of all time and possibly at number one. This disc contains classic seventies pieces performed with a lot of energy. The Disc is also the heaviest that I have ever heard Jean-Luc. This is true Jazz/Rock fusion. The band is Jean-Luc on violin, Ralphe Armstrong on Bass, Jamie Glazer and Joaquin Lievano on guitars, Allan Zavod on keyboards and Casy Schurell on drums. Unless you are a fusion freak you might not have heard of all these guys. They have all appeared on Jean-Luc studio cds. If you play with Jean-Luc then you are very good and these guys are great. Enough hype, here is the tune breakdown:
Aurora(parts one and two): Taken from the Cd of the same name, Aurora is a great opener to this show. The first part is not anything amazing. However, it does provide a couple of minutes to allow the listener to get ready for the fireworks to come. An introductory song for the opener. It is a perfect fit. Part two has Jean-Luc in all out fusion mode. The song features a great groove and unison lines played at quick speeds. The first solo section features Jean-Luc and Casey interlocking and going off. Jean-Luc is his typical amazing self and his solo section is great. Drummers should pay attention because this is a demonstration on how to perform fills with a soloist. The two have telepathic interplay. After some unison lines, Bassist Ralphe Armstrong performs a little solo that is groove orientated. Ralphe can play amazingly, and he does later, but this allows the overall composition to be at the forefront. The tune ends after Ralphe's solo and this is only the beggining.
Imaginary Voyage(Parts 3 and 4):Taken from the Cd of the same name, this is it, the highlight of an amazing disc. Part three is a classically influence masterpiece. The melody is really a concerto-style blend of beauty. If Vivaldi was to write a fusion piece it would sound like this. The borderline contrapunctal melody is backed by a great base line and solid drumming. Then Jean-Luc, Zavod and Lievano each take turns soloing through it. If you have the studio version of this, you are going to be floored. Jean-luc takes a great piece and makes it greater. Part four is all about the groove. Ralphe and Casey lay one down and then Jamie Glazer lets loose, there is a brief segue, and then Jean-Luc unveils pyrotechnics that would make Industrial Light and Magic envious. Once again, Jean-Luc outdoes himself.
Mirage: This is an ethereal piece. Ponty and Zavod take turns soloing through this groove. This is from Enigmatic Ocean. Both soloists are mesmerizing. Zavod is one of the greatest keyboardists that you have never heard.Unreal.
No Strings Attached: This piece is only on this disc and is a bit of self-indulgence by Jean-Luc. This is still a fine piece and Jean-Luc uses a variety of effects. It is an unaccompanied piece by Jean-Luc and allows for a change of pace.
Egocentric Molecules: Taken from the Cosmic Messenger CD, this tune is unreal. The groove that Ralphe establishes is great. The song has another load of unison lines. Joaquin, Ralphe and Jean-Luc are the featured soloists on this one. Joaquin lets loose with another solo display that is heavy on the hammering. Ralphe performs a great solo. He uses a fuzzbox and is intense on this one. Any Bassist will love this. Finally, Jean-Luc displays more fiery playing. Unfortunately this is the last tune.
Any Ponty fan will want this, and has probably been waiting for this as long as I have. If you find 80's and 90's Jean-Luc too mellow because you like your fusion to have more of a Rock edege, then you'll love this. People that like instrumental music will love this. If you are a musician, then you need this. BUY IT NOW!"
JLP LIVE at last!
Karl F. Kuenning | Stafford, TX United States | 01/26/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've been waiting 23 years for this work to be released on CD. It was worth the wait. Treat yourself to a piece of JLP history as you are front and center at a live performance recorded in late 1978 during the California leg of the Cosmic Messenger tour. Blistering guitar solos from both Jamie Glaser and Joaquin Lievano, intricate keyboards from Allan Zavod, and powerful "double kick" drumming from Casey Scheuerell. An explosive performance by Ralphe Armstrong on bass, and of course the genius of Jean-Luc Ponty on the electric violin. A great "must have" work of art for all Ponty diehard fans or JLP "newbies"."
What a sound!!!!
Carlos I. Alsina | San Juan, Puerto Rico United States | 03/20/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Dentro del jazz progresivo hay bandas que en un momento contaban con músicos de tal calidad que abrir paso a un vocalista aunque pueda sonar duro, estaba de más. Este es el caso de Return to Forever (Corea, DiMeola y Clarke), Mahavishnu Orchestra (Goodman, McLaughlin y Cobham). Este indudablemente, es el caso de este periodo en la vida musical de Jean-Luc Ponty.El CD recopila una serie de conciertos que realizara Ponty en los EE.UU. a finales del año 1978 acompañado por unos músicos de tremendo calibre y que incluye partituras de quizás los dos (2) mejores discos grabados por Ponty en estudio: Aurora e Imaginary Voyage. Imagínese usted escuchar estas versiones en directo que, con toda honradez, superan con creces los temas grabados en estudio. La percusión de Scheverell, la maestría en el bajo de Armstrong, la guitarra de Glaser, Zavod en los teclados unidos a la magia del violín de Ponty hacen que este CD sea por mucho lo mejor que Ponty ha producido en su carrera.
There has been legendary bands like Return to Forever (Corea, DiMeola and Clarke) and Mahavishnu Orchestra (Goodman, McLaughlin and Cobham) that made the presence of a vocalist simply unnecessary. This is the case in this stage in the musical history of Jean-Luc Ponty. This CD includes live vertions of concerts performed at USA in late 1978. Just imagine to listen this live performances with a band counting players like Armstrong, Glaser, Scheverell, Zavod and Ponty delivering at stage two (2) of the best works of Ponty: Aurora and Imaginary Voyage. For me, this is the best album, now CD remastered, of the long career of Jean-Luc Ponty.......simply magic!!!!!"
Hugh Jabutt | Boston, MA | 02/26/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A simply great album. I can finally throw out my vinyl copy!! I still think The Gift Of Time is his best effort but this one is the first JLP album I heard and helped turn me into a lifelong fan. Ralph Armstrong's bass playing is exceptional. Jean-Luc at one of his peaks."