Stanley Clarke, Al Di Meola, Jean-Luc Ponty: Topanga
The Rite of Strings (I.R.S. Records 7243 8 34167)
Composed by Stanley Clarke.
Recorded: Hollywood, CA, April 1995
Rating: 89/100 (learn more)
In this all-acoustic outing, these three brilliant musicians weave an arresting tapestry of musical ideas from a skein of seemingly infinite colors. For his own evocative composition, Stanley Clarke's arco bass technique is used to great effect. Di Meola's penchant for dazzlingly impossible runs is deftly restrained, creating a pleasantly lyrical interplay between him and Clarke, as well as some intuitively inventive guitar work over his own overdubbed accompaniment. When Ponty's violin enters the mix, his naturally lyrical style meshes seamlessly with the guitarist's subtle chords and Clarke's complementary basslines. The string format keeps this soft and gentle tune appropriately sensitive without introducing a trace of syrupy sappiness. A pleasant musical excursion using an oft-neglected jazz format in an inviting and creative way.
Reviewer: Ralph A. Miriello
In Conversation with Jean-Luc Ponty by Thierry Quénum
Tags: 1990s jazz