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Jean-Luc Ponty - Individual Choice CD (album) cover

INDIVIDUAL CHOICE

Jean-Luc Ponty

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.10 | 35 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

wbiphoto
4 stars Ah, more funky, techno-fusion from Jean-Luc. Will he ever seize to amaze?

This record was one of my TOP favorites during an era where I found myself immersed in college studies and during a time when life-changing decisions were thrust upon me. It also happens to be one of the albums my wife and I really dug while we were dating. So, for me to say that this is just "another album" would be very far from the truth. Individual Choice is VERY special to me.

It's quite evident that at the point that JLP composed and recorded the music on Individual Choice he was completely immersed in electronic music. It's fair to say that this album sounds a LOT like a Jean Michel Jarre record but with a violin as the solo instrument of choice. Some may argue that it's not completely original and that he borrowed here and there from Jarre. Even if that were the case, JLP pulls it off very elegantly and with his own personal stamp.

As for the songs, well, I will say this about ONE song in particular: In Spiritual Love. George Dukes's Mini-Moog solo on that cut is quite possibly ONE OF THE GREATEST keyboard solos EVER. The foundation is set by JLP's funky, slow tempo, synth sequence and about 1/3 of the way through Duke slowly builds his solo to a point where it gets pretty darn hard to hold back a tear. It's THAT GOOD. The album is worth the price of purchase JUST for that tune. No kidding!

Ah, but I forgot about another musician on the album......Allan Holdsworth. The guitarist plays on two songs but I don't find his playing inspired or inspiring. Sure, he does his legato thing with a bit more bite and distortion than normal Holdsworth fare, but overall it's not very impressive or memorable. He's done MUCH better than this. But, to be be fair Allan's set the bar so high that we tend to expect miracles from him every time he appears on an album. So it's all good with Holdsworth on this album.

After twenty five years have passed since my first listen I can now find a bit more fault with this album. First off, it suffers from filler material in several places and it's quite blatant too. Seems that this was a quick project for JLP(he released the masterpiece Mystical Adventure a year earlier) and it's easy to see by the sparse instrumentation and production that he was trying to finish the record asap. This is not to say that it's a bad record, because it's not. It's actually very good. Just NOT GREAT.

It's impossible, for me at least, to give ANY JLP album less than four stars. Reason being that the best moments of any JLP record are usually so good that they completely eclipse anything else that may be negative throughout the album.

This is a FOUR STAR effort by JLP and should be enjoyed by proggers who don't mind a bit of Euro electronica mixed in with their prog.

wbiphoto | 4/5 |

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