Stanley Clarke, Al Di Meola, Jean-Luc Ponty: Renaissance
The Rite of Strings (I.R.S. Records 7243 8 34167)
Composed by Jean-Luc Ponty.
Recorded: Hollywood, CA, April 1995
Rating: 91/100 (learn more)
A good song can often be rediscovered in a different format and transcend its original conception in new and exciting ways. As first recorded on his Aurora album (1976), this Jean-Luc Ponty composition's format was guitar, bass, drums and a young Patrice Rushen on piano along with Ponty's violin. In every sense a classic, the original is nonetheless redefined in this strings-only rendition. Ponty's solo playing, while somewhat restrained in comparison to the original, is nonetheless inspired by his equally talented bandmates. Di Meola's and Clarke's staccato playing provides the perfect counterpoint to Ponty's smooth and drawn-out lines. Di Meola's dazzling flamenco-inspired guitar lines are especially well suited in this piece, as are Clarke's equally accomplished peppered basslines. Its purely acoustic nature makes this a more subdued but nonetheless rewarding version of this heartfelt tune. It's good to see these fine artists reworking some of their memorable original compositions in such a creative and timeless fashion.
Reviewer: Ralph A. Miriello
In Conversation with Jean-Luc Ponty by Thierry Quénum
Tags: 1990s jazz