Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Jean-Luc Ponty - The Very Best of CD (album) cover


Jean-Luc Ponty


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.02 | 8 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Reviewer
2 stars I enjoy prog fusion bands such as Gong and Brand X, and jazz keyboard players who tend to dabble in fusion, like Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea, but judging from this collection Mr. Jean-Luc Ponty is not for me.

I must admit Ponty is no mean fiddler, but I don't seen the point of most of this music, which does not excite or move me. Most of the pieces follow exactly the same pattern. Guitar or keyboards play some pretty arpeggios, or else the band as a whole lay down a nice little groove, and a couple of instrumentalists get their chances to execute solos. There's virtually no interaction between the soloists, compositions never develop unexpectedly, and you never get the feeling the players are expressing things which have caused them some kind of pain. I don't wish to exaggerate, for this music is not quite as bland as smooth jazz; it just doesn't sound audacious or experimental.

Things might seem a little better if you never got the impression that Ponty had his fire stolen by fellow players! "Bowing-bowing", for example, is especially noteworthy for its minimoog solo, and "A taste for Passion" for its guitar solo. "Enigmatic Ocean, pt. 3" only sounds gorgeous because Allan Holdsworth suddenly comes in, which immediately gets you thinking: 'At last - a soloist of character!' And "Cosmic messenger" is mainly noteworthy for its haunting guitar arpeggios.

But I don't want to sound completely negative. "Mirage", for example, is based on a supremely catchy riff. Towards the end, this collection starts getting better: "Rhythms of Hope", "Final Truth" and "Infinite Pursuit" are all fairly exciting - and this goes for Ponty's playing as well! Still, when it comes to contemporary jazz violin, I can't help preferring soloists who express themselves through music of a freer and more improvisatory nature, like Mat Maneri and Mark Feldman.

N.B. There is a two-disc set on Rhino, LE VOYAGE - THE JEAN-LUC PONTY ANTHOLOGY, which includes all the tracks from THE VERY BEST OF, together with another 60 minutes of similar material. If you are so inclined.

fuxi | 2/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this JEAN-LUC PONTY review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives