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Few would debate violinist Jean Luc Ponty’s pioneering ways within the early 70s fusion movement, whereas the artist did introduce a novel approach to melding the violin with the jazz vernacular. Decades pass, and Ponty continues to hone his craft via recent world beat efforts amid programmatic rhythmic foundations and utilization of synths. However, this outing recorded at a Dresden Germany located Opera House represents Ponty’s quintet at its finest! Marked by the stunningly beautiful 32 bit recording processes, the violinist and his ensemble convey an organic sound in concert with the electric jazz-fusion discipline. Essentially, this affair might ring like a a best of type compilation, which of course signifies a natural chain of events for a live setting. The leader serves up many of his most popular compositions such as, “Imaginary Voyage,” “Mirage,” “Enigmatic Ocean (Part I & II),” and others.
The quintet enjoys a great deal of freedom to explore - amid several high-octane call and response episodes, featuring keyboardist William Lecomte’s lyrically charged soloing endeavors. Percussionist Moustapha Cisse and drummer Thierry Arpino frequently up the ante with swirling polyrhythms and African grooves, as bassist Guy Nsangue Akwa generates the thrusting underpinnings. But Ponty rarely sounded better, thanks to his soaring thematic forays performed on his crystalline sounding, 5-string electric violin. No doubt, the musicians were up for the occasion! They display a practical understanding to complement a synergistic component that pervades this release from start to finish. (Emphatically recommended...)
I love jazz because it is a pure American music and can be expressed in different ways depending upon the artist.
I was first exposed to jazz while as a teenager I listened to Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, and Louis Armstrong, on a jazz
radio station in New York City.