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


Jean-Luc Ponty


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.98 | 66 ratings

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4 stars Mr Ponty is Now Going Individual .

Having been totally satisfied with his previous album "Mystical Adventures", I would had expected something much better album. What I got was something excellent but less dynamic musically than the previous one. Not only that, in total album package this one is less superior than "Mystical Adventures". As a music customer, am I wrong? Well, you know it my friends that in any business, the customer is king and the customer demands and needs are ever increasing. This applied to me when I purchased "Individual Choice" before I had a chance to spin it. My first impression, I was just a bit disappointed because the art work was not as fantastic as "Mystical Adventures". I don't mean that his face is terrible (in fact he is handsome!); but how come you have wonderful music but you just put your face as album cover? It's artistically wrong, Mr. Ponty. I was still okay with "Enigmatic Ocean" because by that time there was not such thing as "Mystical Adventures" or "Cosmic Messenger" coming out in the market. OK, whatever the case, I accept it because as the name of the album implies, I respect your "individual" decision. So Mr Ponty is going individual now. Let's see how the music sounds ..

The album kicks off with "Computer Incantations for World Peace" (5:40) which sounds to me the modernization of Ponty music with some sorts of programming, using synthesizer which he plays by himself. It's an individual choice, off course. What I hear here is the sounds of synthesizer in preprogrammed rhythm section, accompanying the violin solo. "Far from the Beaten Paths" (5:58) is my favorite track with great violin solo on top of music that is dominated with bass sounds and continuous flow of rhythm section. It reminds me to Ponty's "Mirage". Other tracks like "In Spiritual Love" (7:00) and "In Spite of All" (5:57) demonstrate how Ponty is a virtuoso composer as well as violin player. I also love "Eulogy to Oscar Romero" (2:34) and "Nostalgia" (5:00). To my surprise, "Individual Choice" (4:56) is not I thought that is gonna be a long violin solo without music. In fact this track can be said as the most dynamic of this album in terms of changes of styles etc.

At album level, I can only say that this album explores further on Ponty's violin virtuosity through many solo in almost each song - compared to previous albums like "Enigmatic Ocean" with many soloists. Allan Holdsworth only contributes two tracks "Nostalgia" and "In Spite Of All". At this album Ponty does not give a lot of chance for other soloists than what he performs. It's OK, as this is an INDIVIDUAL CHOICE.

Overall, I consider this album still as an excellent addition to any prog music collection. For me personally, this is not the best albums by Ponty. I would go for "Enigmatic Ocean", "Mystical Adventures", or "Cosmic Messenger" than this one. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 4/5 |


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