SD 19253 A Taste For Passion
Produced by Jean-Luc Ponty
Released on August 1979
US CHART POSITION #54 . . . US JAZZ ALBUMS CHART POSITION #4
Find it at GEMM
SD 19253 cover
[high resolution photo]
 

O r how I stopped worrying about being a middle-aged werewolf and learned to love the violin. (Sorry, I couldn’t let that album cover pass unmolested.) A Taste for Passion is Jean-Luc Ponty’s most commercial album to date, with warm melodies and accessible arrangements that downplay the electric violin by giving equal time to the electric guitar. In fact, everyone has come up in the mix: the bass, drums and keyboards are no longer obscured by Ponty’s gratuitous solos but instead contribute as equal partners in the music. His earlier albums on Atlantic often utilized complex patterns that were repeated while the violin soared overhead; here that occurs only sparingly. By slowing things down, Ponty puts the emphasis on pretty music. “Stay with Me” sounds like Steve Hackett at his most lyrical, “Beach Girl” utilizes a variety of interesting ideas including a nice acoustic guitar solo from Joaquin Lievano. While a track like “Give Us a Chance” is a throwback to his earlier music, even here Ponty opens up the arrangement to include more space and find time for all of the instruments. The result often feels like “smooth” jazz rather than fusion, but that shouldn’t scare off Ponty’s fans. In fact, they may wonder why he didn’t think of this sooner. One knock on his earlier albums was the violin uber alles aesthetic; by letting his band carry their share of the weight the violin doesn’t lose its freshness. The closing “Farewell” for example balances the violin with Ralphe Armstrong’s fretless bass, and it’s a better song for it. Most of Jean-Luc Ponty’s Atlantic records live or die by his violin solos; A Taste for Passion will win or lose fans for its melodies. All things considered, this is a successful change of pace, even while it sacrifices the violin virtuosity of previous efforts.

SD 19253 back cover
SD 19253 back cover

TRACK LISTING

  1. STAY WITH ME    5:35
  2. SUNSET DRIVE    5:45
  3. DREAMY EYES    4:18
  4. BEACH GIRL    4:56
  5. A TASTE FOR PASSION    5:22
  6. LIFE CYCLES    5:45
  7. REMINISCENCE    1:26
  8. GIVE US A CHANCE    3:20
  9. OBSESSION    0:40
  10. FAREWELL    3:06

    All music composed and orchestrated by Jean-Luc Ponty

CREDITS

JEAN-LUC PONTY -- violin, organ, electric piano, grand piano
RALPHE ARMSTRONG -- electric fretless bass, solo
JAMIE GLASER -- electric guitar, solos
JOAQUIN LIEVANO -- electric & acoustic guitars, guitar synthesizer, solos
CASEY SCHEUERELL -- drums, percussion
ALLAN ZAVOD -- keyboards, synthesizer solos, synthesizer programming
Allan Gelbard -- synthesizer programming
Ed E. Thacker -- engineer
Gary Heery -- photography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US August 1979 Atlantic LP/CS SD 19253  
CAN 1979 Atlantic LP QSD 19253  
GER 1979 Atlantic LP ATL 50666  
JPN 1979 Atlantic LP P-10754A lyric insert
US Aug/Sept 1990 Atlantic CD/CS 19253  

 

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