SD 18138 Upon The Wings of Music
Produced by Jean-Luc Ponty
Released on February 1975
US CHART POSITION #158 . . . US JAZZ ALBUMS CHART POSITION #33
Find it at GEMM
SD 18138 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

J ean-Luc Ponty, of late last seen in the employ of Messrs. Zappa and McLaughlin, signed as a solo artist with Atlantic and began releasing his own brand of fusion. Upon The Wings of Music features, in essence, a slightly inverted Mahavishnu lineup: bassist Ralphe Armstrong, drums, keyboards and guitar, with the violin in the role previously held by the guitar. The novelty of hearing the violin in the lead role is augmented by the fact that Ponty runs his (often) electric violin through various effects as a lead guitarist might do. Combined with the fact that Ponty’s arrangements rarely accord much of a role to the electric guitar, the guitar fusion equation inversion is complete. Of course, Upon The Wings of Music isn’t simply a matter of modifying Mahavishnu and Zappa for the violin. There is some of that, yes, but Ponty has a more human vision of fusion: positive, innocent, maybe even a little naïve (in the nicest way). For every fiery passage and tortuous time change are dreamy, sentimental sections. And then there are the unexpected departures, like “Echoes of the Future,” which could have come from Tangerine Dream. By shifting moods and changing the voice of the violin, Ponty keeps this album fresh and interesting. It’s not the technically stunning statement of Al DiMeola’s first album, but how many people were going to drool over a violin solo anyway? What Ponty does here is establish his instrument as a unique (and sustainable) voice in a fusion field where most folks went down either the guitar or horn path. King Kong may have caught everyone’s attention, but it was here that Ponty’s solo career took flight in earnest.

SD 18138 back cover
SD 18138 back cover

TRACK LISTING

  1. UPON THE WINGS OF MUSIC    5:24
  2. QUESTION WITH NO ANSWER    3:25
  3. NOW I KNOW    4:25
  4. POLYFOLK DANCE    5:10
  5. WAVING MEMORIES    5:40
  6. ECHOES OF THE FUTURE    3:08
  7. BOWING-BOWING    4:52
  8. FIGHT FOR LIFE    4:34

    All selections composed and arranged by Jean-Luc Ponty

CREDITS

JEAN-LUC PONTY -- electric violin, violectra, acoustic violins, strings synthesizer
RALPHE ARMSTRONG -- bass guitar, electric bass
NDUGU (LEON CHANCLER) -- drums, Remo roto toms, percussion
PATRICE RUSHEN -- electric piano, acoustic piano, synthesizer, organ, clavinet
DAN SAWYER -- electric guitar
Ray Parker Junior -- electric guitar, guitar solos
Larry Hirsch -- engineer, mixing
Kerry McNabb -- mixing
Christian Simonpietri -- photo
Abie Sussman -- design
Bob Defrin -- art director

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US/CAN February 1975 Atlantic LP SD 18138  
UK 1975 Atlantic LP K50149  
GER 1975 Atlantic LP ATL 50149  
US November 5, 2002 Collectables Jazz Classics CD 6330  

 

For more discographies visit...
progrography

© 2007 Connolly & Company. All rights reserved.