Jean-Luc Ponty - Enigmatic Ocean

Jean-Luc Ponty – Enigmatic Ocean

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Here we look at French legend Jean-Luc Ponty who really is a virtuoso of the electric violin and gets his moment in the sun here at Glory Daze.

Written by: gdmonline

ARTIST: Jean-Luc Ponty
ALBUM: Enigmatic Ocean
LABEL: Atlantic
SERIAL: SD 19110
YEAR: 1977
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List

LINEUP: Jean-Luc Ponty – electric violin, production * Allan Holdsworth, Daryl Stuermer – guitars * Ralphe Armstrong – bass * Allan Zavod – piano, keyboards * Steve Smith – drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Overture * 02 The Trans-Love Express * 03 Mirage * 04 Enigmatic Ocean: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV * 05 Nostalgic Lady * 06 The Struggle Of The Turtle To The Sea: Part I, Part II, Part III



It was only a few weeks back that we bemoaned the passing of Kansas legend Robbie Steinhardt. Sadly, most rock sites don’t talk about violinists in the same breath as singers or lead guitarists, but here we look at French legend Jean-Luc Ponty who really is a virtuoso of the electric violin and gets his moment in the sun here at Glory Daze.

Ponty had been around for years prior to this superb 1977 set. Actually, his first record came out in 1964! All of the personnel assembled for this album are world class musicians in their own right, just name-check the above lineup.

The Songs

The album leads off with the short instrumental ‘Overture’ before Jean-Luc Ponty trips the light fantastic with ‘The Trans-Love Express’, the musicianship off the scale from all concerned. ‘Mirage’ meanders in cruise mode mostly, the keyboard solo adds a brief but sonic wakeup call for those of you drifting to sleep on the lush melodies.

‘Enigmatic Ocean’ is the epic piece on the album, all four parts worth. Parts 2 and 3 especially are where the solos from the key players kick in. Check out Allan Holdsworth for some mind bending noodling. ‘Nostalgic Lady’ sees JLP really turn up the heat. If you’re a fan of that first U.K album then you’ll enjoy this.

‘The Struggle Of The Turtle To The Sea’ is the second of the epics on the album. The song title reads like an episode from a Jacques Cousteau documentary, while the music builds to a crescendo, hopefully the baby turtles managed to avoid all the predators looking for an easy meal. Such is nature.

In Summary

Born on September 29, 1942, Jean-Luc Ponty at the time of writing is still looking great, preparing for more concerts, and all this while recently passing his 79th birthday! Must be something therapeutic about playing the violin yes? In the meantime, there might be a few albums to research in and among the Jean-Luc Ponty back catalogue. Better start taking a look.


Entire Album (Select Tracks)


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