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Jean-Luc Ponty - Life Enigma CD (album) cover

LIFE ENIGMA

Jean-Luc Ponty

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.10 | 13 ratings

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spencerlent
4 stars Before I start, I just want to say I'm 22 years old, and was exposed to Jean-Luc Ponty via an old tape my dad made of "Enigmatic Ocean" when I was about 10. I really got into Fusion in high school, and it has since waned, but I still pop JLP, Weather Report, or Return to Forever once in a while.

This is JLP's first album of original material since 1993's No Absolute Time. Now, I'm a bigger fan of JLP's 70s music (up to 1983's Individal Choice), than teh period between 1983 and 1993. However, I had read on his website that he wanted to recapture some of the techniques and sounds that he encompassed in the 70s and combine it with his sounds of the 80s and his use of African percussion in the 90s. And I feel that he held true to his word. True, the album does not sound like it was made in 1977. However, it does not sound like it was made in the 90s either. It's wonderfully crafted, and in this album you can hear everything that he has learned thru theyears in this; even hearkening back to his classical training.

The first three songs on the album I feel are the best. 2001 years ago is a great opener, and encompasses everything. Signals from Planet Earth is one that could have been written 30 years ago, and I think is the best song on the album.. It has a funk/R&B feel at the beginning, just starting off with a simple piano riff. The ending of that song sounds lifted from the realms of 70s fusion, with chord progressions and sequences flying all over the place. The Infinite Human Caravan is a lengthy piece, but it's very good.

The rest of the album is pretty typical Ponty, including the song "Pizzy Cat", which he plays by himself (synth and violin) with NO OVERDUBS.

Not as good as say, Enigmatic Ocean, but it is up there.

| 4/5 |

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