Reprinted from yesterday's late editions
Jazz or "fusion" music, as it is sometimes called, is notable for two things - the modern technology [WORD ILLEGIBLE] and various electronic dances) required to support a cosmic [WORD ILLEGIBLE] and the space-age techiques that can produce solos played at the speed of light. Unfortunately, the taste and sophistication that are needed to control the technology and the technique are sorely lacking with most of the fusion groups.
French violinist Jean Luc Ponty is an exception. Appearing Sunday night before a near-capacity crowd at the Warner Theatre, Ponty and his five-piece back-up group displayed a lyrical flair that equalled their musical equipment and instrumental dexterity
Ponty's music features synthesizers and electronically altered violins and guitars, yet it is almost impressionistic in its multi-layered sound. Sunday echo units created a dense texture of notes backed by droning chords. These were given direction and force by strong rhythm lines criss-crossing the wall of harmonies. The result was music that was both sharp and biting, dream-like and cerebral.
The music of Jean Luc Ponty demonstrates that, with an application of literacy and intelligence, fusion music is a viable and expressive form of music.