199

Ponga: Ponga

Derrick A. Smith By

Sign in to view read count
Ponga: Ponga The comparison between Ponga and the early-70s groups of Miles and Herbie Hancock is obvious but not facile. Obvious points of comparison are the tension that exists between the unpredictability of the live sources and the postmodernist structuring achieved in-studio; the coexistence of groove and physicality with an amorphous, ambiguous improvisatory conceptualism; and the omnivorous aspect of the music which renders it both in- and outside of its contemporary milieau.

Ponga as an album and a group entity creates a feeling of distanced duality. Which is one of its major aesthetic selling points. The group's members—Wayne Horvitz, Dave Palmer, Bobby Previte, and Skerik - are all contributors to the modern avant-garde scene, a scene which invites certain "roots" infoldings, such as the organ grooves of Horvitz' Zony Mash ensemble or the Latin elements of some of Previte's work. So despite the funkiness that is never far from the center, there seems to be a yawning chasm between that grounded physicality and the "mind" side of the equation. Something like "Naugahide", with its creepingly repeated sax motif, gives only the illusion of the emotionalism and clarity of purpose which characterizes most pop music.

In this way the music both stands apart from contemporary popular music and reflects the developments of the past several years, notably in the electronic genres. Like Dark Magus and Sextant, the music is process made almost flesh, a living body that repels and fascinates with its alien character. However, there is not as much of a gap between Ponga and modern popular music as there was between electric-period Miles and the tunes of that time, indicating that the erosion of the barriers between "jazz" and others forms is increasingly accelerating.


Track Listing: Pimba; Pick Up the Pieces of Saturn; Naugahide; Blowtorch; Awesome Wells; Ponga Amore; Liberace in Space; Bookin.

Personnel: Wayne Horvitz: keys; Dave Palmer: keys; Bobby Previte: drums; Skerik: sax, samplers.

| Record Label: Loosegroove | Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
  • Ponga by Derrick A. Smith
Read more articles
Ornette Coleman Ornette Coleman
sax, alto
John Zorn John Zorn
sax, alto
Sun Ra Sun Ra
keyboard
William Parker William Parker
bass, acoustic
Don Cherry Don Cherry
trumpet
Sex Mob Sex Mob
band/orchestra
Tim Berne Tim Berne
saxophone
Charlie Hunter Charlie Hunter
guitar, 8-string
Craig Taborn Craig Taborn
keyboard

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Sounds of 3" CD/LP/Track Review Sounds of 3
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 18, 2016
Read "Deep Memory" CD/LP/Track Review Deep Memory
by John Sharpe
Published: December 22, 2016
Read "Whisper" CD/LP/Track Review Whisper
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 22, 2016
Read "Man Made Object" CD/LP/Track Review Man Made Object
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 10, 2016
Read "Free for One" CD/LP/Track Review Free for One
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 31, 2016
Read "Holding The Stage: Road Shows, Vol. 4" CD/LP/Track Review Holding The Stage: Road Shows, Vol. 4
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 17, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!