SD 18195 Imaginary Voyage
Produced by Jean-Luc Ponty
Released on September 1976
US CHART POSITION #67 . . . US JAZZ CHART POSITION #2
Find it at GEMM
SD 18195 cover w. promo sticker
[high resolution scan]
 

T he prog connection to Ponty has never been stronger than on “Imaginary Voyage,” which lives up to its name as a magical journey of mythic proportions. It has more than a little to do with Zappa, what with a pair of past alums (Ponty, Fowler) and future FZ member Allan Zavod on keyboards, though Ponty generates a warmer, dreamier vibe than Zappa. The first side of music features five shorter songs which showcase the talents of new guitarist Daryl Steurmer (soon to be written into the great book of Genesis). Daryl’s acoustic jazz guitar on “New Country” and “The Gardens of Babylon” is a side of Steurmer that Genesis fans didn’t see, and more what you’d expect from someone who cited Wes Montgomery as an influence. Of course, Jimi Hendrix was another influence, which is evident on his solo for the funktastic “Tarantula.” Ponty shares the spotlight with Steurmer on the first side, Zavod on the second side, and slips in a spacey solo with “Wandering on the Milky Way.” At the moment, I can’t think of another Ponty album I enjoy so much as Imaginary Voyage. The violin becomes a protean voice, as filthy as a funk guitar and as free as a butterfly, classical and country and confoundingly elusive. Behind Ponty is a stellar fusion outfit with prog credibility from once and future members of Frank Zappa, Genesis and Jethro Tull. It’s a proggier, dreamier and more varied work than his first Atlantic album (Upon the Wings of Music), more likely to please fans who found Camel a pleasant ride. With time, the arpeggiated sequencer patterns and formulaic flights of fancy would grow dull, but here it’s all wonder and imagination.

SD 18195 back cover
SD 18195 back cover

TRACK LISTING

  1. NEW COUNTRY    3:07
  2. THE GARDENS OF BABYLON    5:06
  3. WANDERING ON THE MILKY WAY (Violin Solo)    1:50
  4. ONCE UPON A DREAM    4:08
  5. TARANTULA    4:04
  6. IMAGINARY VOYAGE
      Part I    2:22
      Part II    4:05
      Part III    5:28
      Part IV    8:00

    All composition and arrangements by Jean-Luc Ponty

CREDITS

JEAN-LUC PONTY -- electric and acoustic violins, organ and background synthesizers
MARC CRANEY -- percussion
TOM FOWLER -- electric bass
DARYL STEURMER -- electric and acoustic guitars
ALLAN ZAVOD -- electric keyboards and acoustic piano
Larry Hirsch -- engineer
Peter D'Aprix -- cover photo
Bill Harvey -- concept & design

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US September 1976 Atlantic LP/CS SD 18195  
UK 1976 Atlantic LP K 50317  
GER/NET 1976 Atlantic LP ATL 50317  
JPN   Atlantic CD AMCY-2093  

 

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