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Jean-Luc Ponty - Aurora CD (album) cover

AURORA

Jean-Luc Ponty

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.75 | 50 ratings

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Guillermo
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This album was bought by one of my brothers in 1981. It seems that he didn`t like it, because I found it "almost new" when I listened to it for the first time some weeks later. I had the curiosity to listen to this album because in the back cover guitarist Darryl Stuermer appears in the credits. At that time, I bought Phil Collins`"Face Value" album, and I knew that Darryl (or Daryl) played the guitars in that album, and I also saw a poster in a record shop where he appeared playing in concert with Genesis. It was until 1982, when I bought Genesis ` "Three Sides Live" album that I finally listened to him playing with Genesis in concert. But I also had the curiosity to listen to this "Aurora" album because I read reviews in some magazines about some Ponty`s albums which were positive about his music, and I also was "discovering" Jazz-Rock / Fusion music after I bought Bill Bruford`s "Feels Good to Me" album, also in 1981.

It took me several times of listening to this "Aurora" album before I appreciated how good it is. "Is Once Enough?" is one of the heaviest songs in the album, showing the interaction of the playing of Ponty, Stuermer and Patrice Rushen."Renaissance" is slower, with the use of a bit of auto-harp by Ponty and fine drumming by Norman Fearrington.The title song, "Aurora" is divided in two parts. The first is like an introduction to Part Two, which has some solos by Ponty, Stuermer and Rushen, and maybe some improvisation too. The end of Part Two re-uses the main melody of Part One. Side Two of the old L.P. is better, IMO. "Passenger in the Dark" is also a bit "heavy" and faster, with good guitar by Stuermer. "Lost Forest" is more "jazzy", with great use of the cymbals by Fearrington and acoustic guitar by Stuermer. My favourite song from this album is "Between You and Me", with a very good electric piano melody, good solos by Ponty and Rushen. I consider Patrice Rushen a very good musician, playing with feeling in this song in particular.I have never listened to her as soloist, but I know that she had some hits as soloist playing a mixture of Rhythm and Blues, Jazz, Soul and even some Disco music.

The less interesting song in this album for me is "Waking Dream", played without drums and with "strange sounds" to my ears.

I agree with some people who says that Stuermer is better playing Jazz-Rock / Fusion music, but I also think that he contributed very good things, mainly playing the guitar, while he played with Genesis on tour. Unfortunately, he was increasingly relegated to play the bass after the "Abacab tour". But he also showed that he is a good bassist.

In conclusion, I can say that this "Aurora" album is very good for the followers of Jazz-Rock / Fusion music, very typical in sound, IMO, of the mid-seventies Jazz-Rock/ Fusion music.

Guillermo | 4/5 |

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