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Jean-Luc Ponty - Mystical Adventures CD (album) cover


Jean-Luc Ponty


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.20 | 158 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Mystical Adventures by JLP is a hidden gem. Hidden in that it took me a while to "get it". I must admit that I wasn't completely into this one when it first came out (27 yrs ago). I always placed it in a second tier behind other JLP records. But over the years my appreciation for this excellent recording has increased and I now have it in the same echelon as the other JLP classic recordings.

On Mystical Adventures you won't find the heavy funk of Civilized Evil or the shredding jazz-rock fest that's Enigmatic Ocean. Instead, you have a record that offers some jaw-dropping jazz keyboard work from Chris Rhyne(synths, keys and acoustic piano) and some excellent jazz drumming from Rayford Griffin. Notice the emphasis on JAZZ. Please keep in mind that JLP is first and foremost a jazz musician. For all of the classical training he may have had and for all of the heavier rock he experimented with on Enigmatic Ocean, JLP is a jazz musician and he makes a BIG jazz statement on Mystical Adventures.

As can be expected on any of his records, JLP's playing is sublime and at times superhuman. His legato technique on some of the soloing is.....well.....BEYOND GREAT! If it's even possible to say such a thing.

Some may argue that a few of the pieces are too close to new age or world music for the album to be considered a progressive work. But I would disagree with that notion. JLP's approach invariably incorporates a handful of softer, synth-sequenced tunes where he will solo over them with his violins or layer more synths to create his own brand of tehcno-space-fusion. That's always been the JLP style and you either like it or don't. I love it!

I recommend Mystical Adventures to proggers who are willing to give jazz a chance. This is not a "rocking" jazz-fusion album, but instead a record that leans heavily toward the jazz side of the fence. You will find that the musicianship is EXTRAORDINARY and the songs, although shorter than on your epic prog albums, are impeccably composed and executed.

Mystical Adventures gets an easy FIVE STAR, masterpiece rating.

wbiphoto | 5/5 |


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