Jean-Luc Ponty: Demagomania
Jean-Luc Ponty (violin)
Civilized Evil (Rhino Atlantic)
Jean-Luc Ponty (violin),
Joaquin Lieviano (guitar), Chris Rhyne (keyboards), Randy Jackson (bass), Mark Craney (drums).
Composed by Jean-Luc Ponty.
Recorded: Los Angeles, June-July 1980
Rating: 89/100 (learn more)
I wear the fact I have never seen more than 30 seconds of American Idol as a badge of honor. To me it is a farce. From what I have been told and read, at the start of each season, they purposely show tryouts from some of the most untalented people in the world before they pick their finalists. There is no other purpose behind this practice than to humiliate these people in front of a national audience. Worse still are that many of these helpless hopefuls don't even know the show is making fun of them. This is despicable. I have not even gotten to the fact that even the winners of the show are nothing more than corporate creations who will be dropped from their contracts in a New York second if they fail to sell a million records. Why all this talk about American Idol? Well, the television and music worlds would have been much better places if one of the show's judges, Randy Jackson, had stayed in the jazz business!
Randy Jackson is a great bassist. Early in his career he appeared on several jazz and fusion albums and played with the likes of Billy Cobham and Herbie Hancock. He infuses Jean-Luc Ponty's "Demagomania" with a throbbing bass which provides a funky support for Ponty's flights and a point of reference for drummer Mark Craney and keyboardist Chris Rhyne. The tune trends to the fusion anthem category but never engages in bombast. Though not credited, it sounds like there is some early computer keyboard sequencing used on the track. At times, Jackson even sounds that way. But in his case, it is just perfect timekeeping. Ponty is a bit restrained in his playing. But that is what this evenhanded, almost mantra-like performance requires.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky
In Conversation with Jean-Luc Ponty by Thierry Quénum