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Jean Luc Ponty

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Jean Luc Ponty, lpon the Wings üf Music, Atlantic SDI 81 38 Jean Luc Ponty, álong witli Jerry Goodman, hus ulmost single-handcdly released the violin from its exclusive role in classical music by creating a style of playing whicli is compatible with contemporary ja and rock music. He has developed and exhibited It is virtuosity for the past several years while recording and touring with Gerald Wilson and lus orchestra and most recently with the Mahuvisluui Orchestra. Upon the Win%s of Music is Ponty's t'irst solo album in about two years. A mixture of fresh, imaginative composing, Ponty's solo lyricism, and excellent accompaniment by able musicians, make this latest effort sure to gain Ponty wider public acclaim. All the selections were composed and arranged by Ponty. Two selections, "Upon the Wings of Music" and "Bowing-Bowing," are good examples of this ensemble's ability to play free-flowing jazz. "Echoes," an electric piece featuring Ponty on electric violin and violectra, and "Polyfolk continued on page 20 I vC-vJI vJO continued frorn page 17 Dance." a rock selection, are examples of" the contrasting styles of music present on this album. The changes in "Waving Memories" seem to indícate some desire of Ponty's to satisiy hoth jazz and rock followers. Ponty is assisted wel! by 21-year-old keyboard artist Patrice Rushen. Ms. Rushen has a style similar to Herbie Hancock in its forcefulnesN and drive. She makes her presence and talent heard best on "Upon ihe Wings" and she continúes throughout to pertorm well on solo work and texturing. Ndugu (Leon Chancler) provides energetic and exdting drumming. Guitarist Ray Parker and bassist Ralphe Armstrong, currently with the Mahavishnu Orchestra. round out the solid rhythm section. Upan the Wings ofMusie is not so over bearing as to turn off the jazz purist, while it does have some excitement to entertain jazz-rock fans. This album does not créate new musical horizons but with the Limited nuniber of jazz or rock violinists, Ponty need not concern himself with horizons. The album should be a treat fot Ponty fans and would be a first-class beginning for the music buff who has nol been introduced to recent popular violin incarnations.