JEAN-LUC PONTY — Upon the Wings of Music

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4.00 | 6 ratings | 1 review
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Album · 1975

Filed under Fusion
By JEAN-LUC PONTY

Tracklist

A1 Upon The Wings Of Music 5:24
A2 Question With No Answer 3:25
A3 Now I Know 4:25
A4 Polyfolk Dance 5:10
B1 Waving Memories 5:40
B2 Echoes Of The Future 3:08
B3 Bowing-Bowing 4:52
B4 Fight For Life 3:34

Line-up/Musicians

Bass Guitar, Bass [Electric] – Ralphe Armstrong
Drums, Percussion – Ndugu (Leon Chancler)
Electric Guitar – Dan Sawyer (tracks: A1 to B3)
Electric Piano, Piano [Acoustic], Synthesizer, Organ, Clavinet – Patrice Rushen
Guitar – Ray Parker Junior (tracks: A4, B1, B4)
Violin [Electric, Violectra, Acoustic], Arranged By, Composed By – Jean-Luc Ponty
Synthesizer [Strings Synthesizer] – Jean-Luc Ponty(track A3)

About this release

Atlantic – SD 18138 (US)

Recorded at Paramount Studios, Los Angeles, CA in January 1975

Thanks to snobb for the updates

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Members reviews

Sean Trane
After Ponty has left the Mahavishnu Orchestra (or after the group broke-up, whichever), Ponty started his own solos career (although he had a few albums recorded during the 60’s, most progheads – I included – became aware of his high-profile albums with this album. Obviously, this album’s success was encouraging enough Ponty to try to emulate this album’s feel (or formula if you wish) on the next albums to come and it will benefit him, even if he will never sell enormously (even on a jazz scale) either.

What we have here is a JR/F so typical of the second half of the 70’s, which could’ve easily been released on the ECM label, with all the aspects concerned including that soft jazz feel of those years coming close to elevator music. Do not get me wrong, I am not downing JLP’s music far from it, as there are some superb moments (notably Now I Know), but there is no groundbreaking scheme, no incredibly soul-liberating moments, just pleasant music with a lot of good moments, but never Nirvana is approached All of his musicians are absolute professionals with excellent mastery of their respective instruments, but maybe this is exactly why those Ponty albums (and so many other JR/F albums of the second half of the 70’s) fail to arouse my utmost admiration: they are PROFESSIONAL, business as usual, just another day’s meal ticket, well I think you get the picture by now. This should not let you get the idea that I do not like UTWOM, there are some delightful moments (the middle section of waving memories for one), but none crossing the boundary to musical paradise.

As a matter of fact, I would almost recommend this album as a starting point if it was not for the (excellent) Live album, which unsurprisingly will offer you an outstanding selection of their more exciting moments. The downside of this approach is that it can only be downhill from there. But for those already a bit familiar with Jean-Luc’s works, this album is one of his better ones. Still not essential, though except in capturing Ponty’s works.

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