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Original Album Series Box set, Import


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Audio CD, Box set, Import, November 27, 2012
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 27, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 5
  • Format: Box set, Import
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Warner Bros UK
  • ASIN: B009PHRIKE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,358 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 12 customer reviews
The best of 70"s jazz/rock fusion.
Charles Demetri
I just love these Original Album Series (although the early releases had a much sturdier housing for the CD's).
M. Becker
Isomorphic think you will be disappointed.
Robert Elwin Martin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By urgeking on November 29, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've had all five of these albums on LP for about thirty years and it's nice to have them all collected in one box. Lots of memorable themes and melodies (although I still think the "Enigmatic Ocean" compositions are rather dull and uninspired-- nice funky groove on the last track, though). Good playing, too. Despite a tendency to repeat a few pet riffs too often, Ponty obviously knows his axe inside out. The lightning-fast fillip at the end of his violin-and-drums break in 'New Country' will make you wonder, "How could any mere mortal have the dexterity to navigate that?!"

In a sense, this box is a mini-history of the changes in jazz-rock fusion in the second half of the '70s. Early on, things sound more warmly 'organic' with somewhat of a balance between acoustic and electric. As the '80s approach, you can hear the rhythms tighten up and the overall sound become a bit colder and more sterile. Put another way, the funk and folk influences gradually diminish in favor of a more brittle rock sound. Still, the last album, "Cosmic Messenger", has plenty of fine stuff.

The main problem with Ponty's '70s albums, to my ears, is that they sound too composed, too controlled, too CONTAINED-- it never seems as if anything very spontaneous or unpredictable could be allowed to happen, so the excitement and emotional power are somewhat reduced. (Darryl Stuermer's fine, bluesy guitar work, somewhat reminiscent of Zappa, does threaten to break out of that box from time to time.) Nevertheless, this set has some of the best composing, arranging, and playing of the jazz-rock era of the 1970s-- or prog-rock. If you're a fan of groups like Yes, this stuff should be right up your alley!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Robert Elwin Martin on February 18, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Whether you missed his material, or if your LP's are worn out- this is significant fusion you should own if you like fusion. So much energy, forget its an electric violin-get this 5 cd set fromAmazon before they are gone or price goes up. Isomorphic think you will be disappointed. Listen to samples. I found it on Amazon & could not resist owning ones I had missed, & replacing old lps with fresh cds. This should be in any Fusion library- period- Thank You
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Allan K. Betz on December 21, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've waited 20 years for a decent remaster of Cosmic Messenger and this one is really good. One of the under rated fusion recordings of the mid-seventies.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By M. Becker on April 19, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I just love these Original Album Series (although the early releases had a much sturdier housing for the CD's). The only negative about these releases is there is no booklet or liner notes. It's a no-frills release. But having said that, you can get really great albums for cheap. I'm a big fan of JLP's music from this era and I listened to all 5 of these CD's in two days. Hopefully another release of later CD's will be released too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By zen-fro on November 12, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Very enjoyable and an excellent way to get Ponty's first five Atlantic albums in one package, including his classics of 1970s fusion playing. (Of course, these aren't his first solo efforts; allmusic.com lists no less than 14 Ponty albums before "Upon the Wings of Music"!) The mastering sounds good, and the mini-LP sleeves are OK reproductions--although I would have liked a little more information about the musicians on each album (see below).

Musically, these contain some of Ponty's most fiery playing, almost on a par with his work with the second version of the Mahavishnu Orchestra (MO2). Ponty's compositions are more classically melodic and less adventurous than John McLaughlin's, and the playing is more contained, as others have noted here. However, his mastery of his instrument and incredible soloing often lift the material above and beyond expectation.

Interesting that all five of these albums use the same band format as the original Mahavishnu Orchestra quintet: violin, guitar, keys, bass, and drums. Perhaps the solid music on these disks is a testimony to the durability of the format. John McLaughlin wanted Ponty to be in the first version of the MO, and these albums give some intriguing suggestions at what could have been.

Clearly, the virtuoso Ponty is the star and the focus of his own albums. He isn't challenged by a player of McLaughlin's legendary stature, but he has some very capable support, including bassists Tom Fowler (of Zappa fame) and Ralphe Armstrong (of MO2); a very young Patrice Rushen (before she headed into more pop directions) and Allan Zavod; guitarists Ray Parker, Darryl Steurmer, Alan Holdsworth (!), and Joaquin Lievano; and drummers Ndugu, Mark Craney, and Steve Smith (another youngster, pre-Journey and pre-Vital Information).
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jim Lewis on May 29, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Jean-Luc Ponty's first 5 solo albums reflect great songwriting,intricate arrangements,virtuoso performances and great sounding production. H eis one of the greatest all time musicians...and his music spans jazz, rock and classical...great melodies and brilliant playing
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