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Open Mind - Jean Luc Ponty

   (1 review)

Ponty embarks on more experiments in the future-is-now world of synthesizers and sequencers, where the painstakingly programmed machines often seem to generate an irresistible momentum of their own. As on Individual Choice, Ponty's melodies are immediately appealing in an almost Continental manner, whether spelled out on violin, violectra, or on the sequenced synths that set up the ostinato underpinning. Ponty has even less help than before -- no more than one or two supporting players on a few tracks. One of them is George Benson, who does his flavorful jazz/funk thing over Ponty's rhythm computer on "Modern Times Blues"; the other is Chick Corea, who appears on two tracks. This is almost as essential as Individual Choice, and in some ways, even more confident and assured.

Track Listings:
    A1 Open Mind 8:05
    A2 Solitude 6:05
    A3 Watching Birds 4:57
    B1 Modern Times Blues 7:17
    B2 Orbital Encounters 5:14
    B3 Intuition 7:40
Total Time: 39:18
Artist Name(s):
Jean Luc Ponty
Jean Luc Ponty
Release Year: 1984
Classical, Jazz, Progressive
Album Type:
Compact Disc, Digital / Download, LP 33 1/3
Cover & Packge Design:
Bob Defrin/Claudia Ponty
Studio Name:
Recorded At – La Tour D'Ivoir – The Village Recorder – Mad Hatter Studios – Enterprise Studios – Atlantic Studios
Mastering: Sheffield Lab Matrix
Engineer(s): Dan Nash, Dan Warme, David Marquette, Gary Wagner (2), Jay Willis, John Molino, Steve Hirsch
Label / Publishing
Label Name:
Catalog Number(s):
United States
Editions / Reissues
  1. Cass, Album Atlantic 7 80185-4 US 1984
  2. ‎LP, Album, SP Atlantic 80185-1 US 1984
  3. LP, Album) Polydor 28MM 0405 Japan 1984
  4. CD, Album, RE SPV Records SPV 084-93922 Germany 1984
  5. Cass, Album Polydor 185092 Chile 1984
Synthesizers Used
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Jon Johnson


I should never want to listen to this album.The day after I got it was the day my first synth I owned, a Korg 770, got stolen from my apartment. I was listening to it in the car for the second time that same day so at times its hard to separate the experience but I can listen and forget or ignore.

The album is very similar to Jean Luc's sojourn "Individual Choice" the year before only this time he goes it alone save for a few choice players providing solos and/or support parts. This was a time when everybody was gettin in on the new synth and drum machine sound of the 1980's. Particularly the "DX" sound with older instruments from Moog and Sequential Circuits plus the new ways of composing music ins the studio and be autonomous.

The album kicks off with a "great to be alive"  piece "Open Mind". Here Jean Luc sustains a solid synth and drum rhythm while joyously playing violin which gives way to a nice synth solo which in turn brought home by Chick Corea's descending solo lines. Its funny I always forgot that those solos were played by Corea and took it for granted that it was an arpeggiator, which were also the big thing coming out with synthesizers then as now. Track two suggests isolation with contemplation and more violin and an ominous bass with a processed piano that sounds sampled to me. Track three brings back the brightness with caution and passionate melodies for "Watching Birds".

Track four or in my case side 2 kicks off with "Modern Times Blues" with George Benson and his familar clean Jazz guitar sololing. Trading riffs with Jean Luc throughout. Track 5 "Orbital" Encounters" has the right kind of stereo panning that suggests "orbit" and a very understated drum track(s). Decidedly stationary in nature with no fireworks but maintaining a steady orbit. Track 6 brings in a nice heavy fade in of Jean Luc's violin and the very familiar sound of a Yamaha RX drum machine. Again more soling and a nice digital reverb laden violin one note pads.

Until i heard this album and the previous one I'd never followed or heard any of Jean Luc Ponty's music. I had plenty of friends in high school and college who did and perhaps his most touted song from my circle of fans was "New Country". To this day when I play one of his records I reach for this one or more often "Individual Choice" and I do own some of his other records. I do find him an inspiring to listen to and a certain nostalgia for my early 20's.

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