It’s hard to believe that this is Jean Luc Ponty’s first album in seven years. I was introduced to Ponty’s music in the early eighties while I was making my way around the world with the U.S. Navy. The "Civilized Evil" album was an eye-opener and an exciting doorway into the world of jazz-fusion for me. I had the pleasure of seeing Mr. Ponty perform live at the Warfield Theater in San Francisco several years later. It was a dream come true, and an exceptional experience that I will never forget.
Receiving "Life Enigma" for review is an honor. After listening to this man’s music for twenty years I finally have the opportunity to let everyone know how I feel about it, what a privilege that is. When I think of progressive violin players there are only two names that come to mind, Ponty and Grapelli.
The seventies and eighties were very productive for Ponty and he decided to draw from that experience and incorporate all of the immense knowledge he has acquired. The artist points to that developmental stage of his career as a critical turning point, and reaching back into that timeframe was an inspiration to create this music. Utilizing computers, synthesizers, world music, and percussion, this long awaited release is some of his best work to date. You will easily feel, hear, and process all of the rich colorful textures represented by Ponty’s beautiful violin playing on every track.
The title of this CD is about the mysteries of life, I know for certain that there is no mystery in the way Jean Luc Ponty presents his deep understanding of music and how it relates to the human soul. The infinite human caravan begs the question "Why can’t we let the music be our spiritual guide?" In the end the answers lie within us all and the music tells us that we are the enigma, not life itself.