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Jean-Luc Ponty - Enigmatic Ocean CD (album) cover


Jean-Luc Ponty


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.26 | 365 ratings

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5 stars A Masterpiece of Jazz-Rock!

This is another favorite of mine in terms of Jean-Luc Ponty solo album. In this album, Ponty expresses his musical talents into more free-form style with more exploration and experimentation of rock. Obviously there must be jazz components in each of this composition because that is his roots in his musical direction. Ponty gives good balance in terms of featuring soloist in each segment of the music. This is to say that he is not ego centric and putting all solos under his virtuosity. Musicians involved in this album have high standards in their respective instrument. Who does not know Allan Holdsworth where his guitar playing style has been copied or referred by many guitarists in the world. Daryl Stuermer has been popular with his involvement in Genesis tour where he plays guitar. Ralphe Armstrong is an excellent bass player. Allan Zavod is an excellent synthesizer / keyboard player, and also Steve Smith in drumming. All great players plus great compositions become this album is a masterpiece of jazz-rock fusion that proggers must own the album.

The album begins with an OVERTURE (0:47) that sets the overall tone of the album, followed with THE TRANS-LOVE EXPRESS (3:56). This track indicates excellent works of bass guitar (tight bass lines), guitar solo and violin solo.

The epic and album title ENIGMATIC OCEAN (Part I - IV) is truly a great jazz-rock composition with excellent movements from one part to another. The music is dynamic and it combines jaw dropping drum work of Steve Smith and tight bass lines by Ralphe Armstrong which flow in relatively fast tempo, accompanying the guitar solo and stunning violin work. It's a masterpiece progressive music where all shifts in tempo and style are performed in speed. My adrenalin pumps faster when I'm listening to this track. This is what I perfectly expect from any jazz-rock fusion outfit. The music then moves into medium tempo one with tight bass lines, featuring guitar work. The tempo then moves into faster one with nice musical breaks - after long guitar and violin solos. It's really a superb epic!

NOSTALGIC LADY (5:20) gives musical breaks after long hard driving rhythm section and stunning solo of the epic ENIGMATIC OCEAN. The tempo is slowing down, guitar and electric violin demonstrate the solo excellently. The music moves gradually into higher tones with more textures of the music through violin and guitar solo and fills. This is a nice thread as we can hear Allan Holdsworth as well as Jean-Luc Ponty solo intertwiningly. Jean-Luc Ponty also plays grand piano at this track.

STRUGGLE OF THE SEA TURTLE is a contemporary jazz rock fusion at its best! It opens with a mellow part featuring violin solo and dynamic bass lines. The music moves in crescendo and brings more complex arrangements to the music. Allan Zavod provides his keyboard solo wonderfully during part 1. The music reminds me to Chick Corea's Return To Forever - with different style. Great violin solo as well as great bass guitar lines and solo are demonstrated clearly at this track. I think this track is one of the best jazz-rock fusion songs I have ever heard. It's so energetic and so captivating.

Overall, I have no complaint at all about this album and I think this album deserves five star rating. It has strong songwriting, excellent performance and tight composition in which all tracks seem like tied into one cohesive whole. It's highly recommended. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 5/5 |


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