11 Songs, 40 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Violin virtuoso Jean-Luc Ponty had already earned renown for his work with Frank Zappa and The Mahavishnu Orchestra in the first half of the '70s, but his string of '70s solo releases on Atlantic made him a true star of the jazz fusion realm. By 1977's Enigmatic Ocean, Ponty was in the midst of fertile flurry of activity, having refined a brand of jazz-rock relying as much on crafty composition as band interaction. But while the extended suites that dominate the album (the title piece and "The Struggle of the Turtle to the Sea") serve up their share of soaring themes that flirt with prog rock in a manner not dissimilar to fusion peers Return to Forever, Enigmatic Ocean is fleshed out by the vivid solos of keyboardist Allan Zavod and guitarists Daryl Stuermer and Allan Holdsworth. When the three of them trade licks back and forth with Ponty on the title suite, the excitement intensifies. Of course, Ponty's name is on the front cover for a reason—his command of textures and knack for passionate, lyrical solos (particularly on a gradually developing piece like "Mirage") are at the core of his legend.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Violin virtuoso Jean-Luc Ponty had already earned renown for his work with Frank Zappa and The Mahavishnu Orchestra in the first half of the '70s, but his string of '70s solo releases on Atlantic made him a true star of the jazz fusion realm. By 1977's Enigmatic Ocean, Ponty was in the midst of fertile flurry of activity, having refined a brand of jazz-rock relying as much on crafty composition as band interaction. But while the extended suites that dominate the album (the title piece and "The Struggle of the Turtle to the Sea") serve up their share of soaring themes that flirt with prog rock in a manner not dissimilar to fusion peers Return to Forever, Enigmatic Ocean is fleshed out by the vivid solos of keyboardist Allan Zavod and guitarists Daryl Stuermer and Allan Holdsworth. When the three of them trade licks back and forth with Ponty on the title suite, the excitement intensifies. Of course, Ponty's name is on the front cover for a reason—his command of textures and knack for passionate, lyrical solos (particularly on a gradually developing piece like "Mirage") are at the core of his legend.

TITLE TIME

Ratings and Reviews

4.6 out of 5
25 Ratings

25 Ratings

Bubba405 ,

Missing Track 6

Love this album, but it is missing track 6, which is part of a Suite.

detroitJenny ,

Fabulous album, bad iTunes sampling and labeling

Once iTunes fixes the titles and samples of the "Enigmatic Ocean" (Parts I-IV), you should check it out. This album has an amazing set of songs. I have been fortunate enough to hear a few of these in a live concert and loved all versions (album and live). "The Struggle of the Turtle to the Sea" Parts I-III are a delight to hear and "Mirage" is a funky fusion that just makes me happy.

muhsdoc ,

Great Players

JLP always puts together a tight ensemble, but the players with him during this period were incredible!
Allan Holdsworth is fantastically lyrical, as if he's singing through his guitar; Milwaukee native Daryl Steurmer of Genesis fame has chops second to none, and drummer Casey Scheuerell, another Wisconsin native, was just coming into his own at this time.
A great listen for any fusion connoisseurs.

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