Jean-Luc Ponty: The Trans-Love Express
The Trans-Love Express
Jean-Luc Ponty (violin)
Enigmatic Ocean (Atlantic 19110-2)
Darryl Stuermer (guitar), Allan Zavod (keyboards), Ralphe Armstrong (bass), Steve Smith (drums).
Composed by Jean-Luc Ponty.
Recorded: June-July 1977
Rating: 90/100 (learn more)
To many Jean-Luc Ponty aficionados, Enigmatic Ocean was the best album he ever released. Certainly this track is among his best jazz-rock forays. Ralphe Armstong, the bassist Ponty brought with him from the second incarnation of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, lays down a fat directional bassline. Holdsworth's solo is grungy enough to create a counterpoint to Ponty's clean violin lines. The slightest bit of funk enters via Armstrong and Smith. But it is that polite funk that doesn't harm anyone. Ponty mastered the commercial market for fusion at the time by providing hook-laden tunes of short, radio-friendly duration. Plenty of DJs found time to spin this 4-minute track leading into their hourly newscasts. It would still fit that purpose today – if there were any damn jazz-rock DJs left.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky
In Conversation with Jean-Luc Ponty by Thierry Quénum