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Musical Tales From Jean Luc Ponty,
This review is from: Fables (Audio CD)Jean Luc Ponty's 1984 album Open Mind is one of the most unique and original pieces of music I've ever heard-crossing all the bridges between world fusion,new age and electronic music. It was largely a textural effort,constructed quite differently than a lot of music out there. I imagine Ponty had a lot to think about in terms of following up the album with something at least as compelling. And I really think Ponty is someone who did think about the music he made a lot. Much care seems put into what he puts out. In the end,I really think this successed in it's possible intentions.
The album starts of with "Infinite Pursuit",which has a bit of an 80's pop beat to it that goes very well with Ponty's electric violin. "Elephants In Love" and "Radioactive Legacy" are actually very good extentions off the sound of the previous album. Different is the rhythmic keyboard textures are blended together with a drums rhythms for full effect. "Cats Tales" and "Perpetual Rondo" actually create an interesting mix of fusion and...well 80's boogie funk I suppose. He was leaning that way on earlier 80's albums. But this kind of put it all together. "In The Kingdom Of Peace" is a spare but elaborate cinematic electronic type number and the album ends with "Plastic Idols",a wonderful combination of latin tinged funk with modern electronics.
This album is full of great musical ideas. And a lot of inventive creative thinking for a time where being very contemporary seemed to suddenly matter a lot. Even though the instrumentation was very contemporary for it's era,compositionally this album has actually aged very well for what it is. It's not even a very pop oriented album either. The compositions are very melodically and rhythmically challanging. And solid proof of Miles Davis' stantement that bad music results from musicians who don't play well rather than the instruments their playing. Ponty's understanding of electronics are very good here. And in a way it's his great way with them and talent in using them that helps bring this strong songs even more to life than they already would've been. And this would be strong either way.