Picks and Pans Review: Mystical Adventures
Ponty has consistently used the electric violin as an instrument of aggressive yet lyrical power on nine jazz-rocking fusion albums. And where many fusion pioneers tediously demonstrate technique over melodic texture, Ponty has kept both going for him. He also gets wonderful assistance this time from synthesizer whiz Chris Rhyne, bassist Randy Jackson, guitarist Jamie Glaser and drummer Rayford Griffin. There's an electronic lullaby, Part V, and the pop crescendos of Stevie Wonder's As. But the best cuts are the pulverizing Rhythms of Hope, which features some dazzling Jackson bass work, Final Truth Part II, an all-out hard-rocker, and Jig, in which Paulinho Da Costa's percussion, Glaser's acoustic guitar and Ponty's violin and organ come together in a rich blend. If not quite up to its lofty title, this album is a potent musical trip.