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Music from my youth
on 18 November 2015
OK, before the inevitable angry-mob get their keyboards clicking, I freely admit that I know little about Jazz. I first got into Jean-Luc Ponty after listening to 'Birds of Fire' by the Mahavishnu Orchestra ['One Word' from that album  must be the best Rock/Prog/Fusion/... etc track ever recorded]. I remember buying 'On the Wings of Music' when it first came out (1974?) and it rarely left my turntable. However, during the 80's my massive record/ CD collection was burned to nothing in a house fire, and it has been a slow process rebuilding it. I recently bought the Jean-Luc Ponty 5-CD set 'Original Album Series' in the hope of reliving my youth. With great expectation I played the first CD .... and was greatly disappointed. Great musicianship, great arrangements, great re-mastering, but , as with the most common criticism of music from that period, ever so self-indulgent. Now, to Jazz purists, the bizarre chord changes, time signatures, and almost endless twiddly bits are probably superb, but I have moved on I think and these 5 CDs left me totally unimpressed. Of the 5, my favourite is 'Enigmatic Ocean' as this is a little tighter, less improvisational. 'La monde bouge' as they say in Jean-Luc Ponty's France, and so have I.
Edited Later: On reading my above review it may seem a little confusing as J-L P did not play on 'Birds of Fire' - that was Jerry Goodman . I meant to imply that I was an admirer of The Mahavishnu Orchestra, and when J-L P joined them in 1974, I followed his career from that time on..The rest, I think stands. Sorry for the confusion.