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Upon the Wings of Music Import

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

Price: £8.33
Only 1 left in stock.
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Product details

  • Audio CD (5 Nov. 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Collectables
  • ASIN: B00007BH2J
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 325,971 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A must have for every jazzrock lover. This masterpiece is filled with a deep, mature fusion sound. Years of playing with various jazz and rock bands allowed Ponty to gather many ideas and develop them into highest level. Finest groove is created by rhythmic section and the surrounding lava of gentle synthesizers and Fender Rhodes sound, which all are defining the fusion sound of late 70's. Not only the groove, but also the compositions and improvisations by Ponty and two guitarist are briliant. You'll be gripped from the very beggining by electronic wall in title track, amused by delicate "Question With No Answer" and stunned with echoing fiddles in "Waving Memories".
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
genius
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x99e3d468) out of 5 stars 7 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99e570b4) out of 5 stars the beginning of Ponty's mature '70s style 10 Oct. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This album to me represents the beginning of Ponty's run of raw, energy-infused jazz-rock fusion albums of the mid to late '70s, notably his first heavy use of pentatonic scales, distortion, and rock rhythms. Granted, most of the tunes here don't contain the mind-boggling virtuosity which he displays in later releases, (with one notable exception - 'Fight for Life', the second half of which contains a great early example of Ponty's potential to let loose.) Also, this album contains what I think is one of his most beautiful slow songs, 'Now I Know'. The musical inflection he imparts to this remarkably simple melody in B minor is truly something. 'Polyfolk Dance' is the third gem on this album, with some fantastic solo moments by Ponty. Finally, 'Question with no Answer' is a blast to play along with, if you play the violin.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9afb29cc) out of 5 stars JLP's Promising Fully Electric Starter 22 Sept. 2004
By P. McKenna - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
While still in the Mahavishnu Orchestra MK II, Jean Luc concocted his first solo outing. While not as fully realized as subsequent albums, this at least strongly pointed the way he would be heading shortly.

The opening title track with its insistent drumming by Ndugu Leon Chancellor roars out of the gate with Ponty soaring over the top of the maelstrom, beautifully constructed melody here! "Question With No Answer" features a beautiful plaintive piano intro from Patrice Rushen just before Jean Luc enters with the song's probing, insistent melody, gradually building momentum as the full band enters to a rousing conclusion. "Now I Know" is a moody ballad with dreamy Herbie Hancock-esque Rhodes from Patrice as Jean-Luc spins out haunting melodies. Things pick up again with "Polyfolk Dance" featuring some cool odd-meter passages. One thing the album as a whole is lacking in is strong guitar work (the contributions of Dan Sawyer and Ray Parker Jr. are at best serviceable and generic), the solo on here is a bit cliched and irritating with its angry mosquito tone.

Also featured is a solo violin piece "Echoes Of The Future" with Ponty employing an Echoplex for layering figures on top of one another, something that would become one of his trademarks.

The rest of the tracks are decent enough fusion, but in subsequent albums, Ponty's compositional prowess would grow like mad.

A good solid start, all told.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9afb1714) out of 5 stars A cult recording! 1 Oct. 2007
By Hiram Gòmez Pardo Venezuela - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Jean Luc Ponty' s debut could not be more successful. In 1975, there were two admirable soloists of the instrument in stage : Don Sugar Cane Harris, with his musical offer that went from the folk to blues, and Stephan Grapelli, a living legend of the instrument.

But the main contribution of Ponty consisted in narrowing and reaffirming the bounds between the violin and the traditional jazz instruments, making the violin literally dissolved in the musical speech, and just remarking his tonalities, between the different ideas, and making the violin became a rhythmic and dynamic device.

Of course we had to mention the use of the violectra solo in re-recording in the moving and expressive "Echoes of the future."

"Upon the wings of the music" was by far his main presentation card , but "Question without answer" , but in particular the piece "Waving memories" is a mesmerizing track that combines lyricism and vibrating beating. Ndugu ( leaon Chancler) is terrific in the percussion, drums, Roto toms and Remo. Kudos too for Ralphe Armstrong in guitar and electric bass, Don Sawyer and electric guitar except in Fight for life and finally the presence of Ray Parker in electric c guitar.

But the only and irrefutable fact this album has surmounted the test of time and still is in the privileged position of being in the privileged place among the first 8300 albums, after thirty two years from being released, taking into account the impressive transition of the jazz with the appearing of such admirable soloists as Dvae Crusin, Bob James, Ramsey Lewis, Earl Klugh, George Benson in traditionally accepted instruments in jazz (Take into account the Seventies was the decade of the piano as prominent star, the Sax in the eighties and the guitar in the nineties) makes of this artistic triumph a true musical phenomena.

Please, go for your favorite CD store and listen it, you will not be able to resist this amazing proposal.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a7a5ea0) out of 5 stars Upon The Wings Of A Very Talented Jazz Violinist 30 Mar. 2012
By Andre S. Grindle - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Jean Luc Ponty's music has always stood out especially well to me. For one,there's a quality about his style of playing that is just exciting and unique. Not only that but he has the advantage of always getting just about the perfect session musicians to play with him on his records. By the the mid 70's the more flamboyant jazz-rock fusion sound pioneered by Miles Davis very early in the decade was having a close encounter of the funk kind. And fusion was about to make another strong adaptation. Because Ponty's playing had a strong bluesy flavor to it,that meant good news for any full on embrace he would make regarding the jazz funk sound. Again he made a superb choice of musicians including Patrice Rushen and drummer Leon Ndugu Chancler for these sessions. The results are typically nothing short of breathtaking.

The title song of this album is probably the funkiest piece of music Ponty made during this time,assisted greatly by the strong groove and Patrice's electric piano work. "Question With No Answer" follows that on a gentler note with a much quieter and gentler ballad not where the focus is one the composisions strong melody. "Now I Know" is a brooding progressive number with some Pink Floyd type rock overtones to it. On "Polyfolk Dance" it's back to a steady funk/rock groove basically and it amounts to another strong piece on this album. "Waving Memories" and "Bowing Bowing" are both more on the jazz end of the fusion spectrum-showcasing a sound that would be very important to Ponty in the years to come. It ends again on a stop/start funk note with "Fight For Life",another powerful jazz-funk composition.

He also has an entirely solo number (on violin and electronics) in "Echoes Of The Future",an electronica synthesizer type fusion number not far removed from what George Duke did on songs such as "North Beach". As it stands this album sets the tone for the four or five albums Jean Luc Ponty would make on Atlantic records in the 70's. While this is one of his more groove centered releases and certainly among one of his funkiest,there's a musical quality here he would heavily expand on with each coming release. Not to mention that even for that this album has a very high standard of quality overall. It's actually one of the Jean Luc Ponty albums I was most curious about hearing over the years. And I usually just pick up any of his 70's/80's records sight unseen anyway. To wrap this up this album is definitely an important addtion to anyone's 70's fusion collection.
HASH(0x9afb1744) out of 5 stars upon your anticipation 29 May 2014
By Bryan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
No, Upon the Wings of Music isn't Jean Luc Ponty's debut but it sure feels like one doesn't it? This is because hardly anyone mentions the stuff he's done before this. He had an album in 1971 and probably more before this one but the common belief is that Jean Luc finally got off the ground with his trademark violin style right here with Upon the Wings of Music. In fact I just checked and not a single person has reviewed the studio albums he's done before this one. A crime!

The title song begins this wonderful (somewhat short) little album. A basic funky rhythm serves for a keyboard jam that soon follows. Truthfully the keyboard jam is sort of lackluster due to it being so unfocused, but the scorching violin solo comes in and thankfully applies a sweet kiss to this juicy baby. "Question With No Answer" pretty much describes the world we live in nowadays- everyone has questions but nobody and I mean *nobody* has the answers! How did Jean Luc know! Anyway this song is some kind of smooth-flowing piano and violin orchestrated track. The violin is the highlight of course, and only gets more interesting as the song rolls forward.

Did I have the audacity to say "Question With No Answer" is smooth flowing? No, "Now I Know" is smooth flowing! Jean's going for something atmospheric here with light touches of violin and some incredibly light jazzy keyboard work. I seriously have to question the keyboard work so far- it's exceptionally uh, not very good. Why is that? I have no idea, because it was extraordinary on future albums. Luckily the violin saves the day. I suspect that without the violin this album would have been so mediocre not a single person would have purchased it. "Polyfolk Dance" can only be something special judging by the song title and... it is! A fast-moving rhythm, somewhat dark atmosphere... well at least initially. The song sort of gets really classical-like before suddenly morphing into a decent guitar jam. Oh yeah, he *does* have electric guitar in his music doesn't he? I almost forgot! Yes YES! Rockin' with a fantastic violin jam at the end.

"Waving Memories" is next. In the beginning of the song the violin does some kind of trickery that reminds me of vengeful-minded bad guys running down the hill in the distance and coming after an innocent village with angry intentions! After the intro the violin just gets flat out bizarre. Not quite sure what Jean's going for here. At least the electric guitar solo is a nice surprise. The song gets really unorganized after this. This is actually almost a bad song. I have to say *almost* because it's not really bad- just bad by Jean Luc's typically high standards. Hmmm...

"Echoes of the Future" sadly isn't an echo of Jean's immediate future! Sorry sorry, but the song title combined with the directionless approach of Upon the Wings of Music made it too easy for me to compare this song title to Jean's music at the time. The song has more atmospheric violins much like in "Waving Memories" but this time they're not very appealing. Probably because they don't sound much different from what I've already heard in the previous song and I'm like a little kid- I need constant attention and junk food... er, need to be impressed constantly or I become bored. "Bowing-Bowing" is an improvement at least. I think Jean realized he better take advantage of the violin in a way only he knows how or the results would quickly make everyone in the room sleepy. This is probably one of the best songs here. It's entirely focused. I like focus! "Fight for Life" has a crunchy guitar solo that dissolves into total fuzz, but otherwise this is probably another highlight.

You know to use an analogy, Upon the Wings of Music is like enjoying your favorite brand of pizza but missing the sauce. This album has potential, but it seems more often than not an unusual/unfocused-like decision comes in and sort of makes the music sound flat every so often. Sometimes a rhythm feels boring and chugs along in an uninteresting way, or a keyboard jam lacks potential, or even the mighty violin feels weak due to Jean using it differently from how I'm used to experiencing it. Plus it's like Jean was in more of an atmosphere mood which explains why the violin sometimes jams so unusually. This is because Jean Luc wasn't hitting his stride yet. He just wasn't ready. He'd immediately rectify this on his Aurora album (and beyond) but for this outing, it takes a few listens to really get a feel for it. Ultimately however, I believe the album's somewhat sloppy and unmemorable overall which is not what I was expecting from the master himself. A low 4 is my final rating.
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