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Anderson Ponty Band, The: Better Late Than Never

Former Yes vocalist Jon Anderson and jazz-fusion violin legend Jean Luc Ponty have talked about working together for over 30 years, so that's why their first ever pairing is titled Better Late Than Never. Though it took an eternity for this to happen, for most fans their debut will be more than worth the wait, as this CD/DVD set collects a series of live recordings comprised of re-workings of classic Yes & Ponty material. Joining the duo are Baron Browne(bass), Jamie Glaser (guitars), Rayford Griffin (drums), Wally Minko (keyboards), all world class musicians who round out this successful collaboration.

Most folks will probably instantly gravitate towards the Yes songs first, mainly to hear Anderson once again singing these timeless classics, but also to experience just what Ponty's glorious violin flights can bring to the table. "Owner of a Lonely Heart" is upbeat and melodic, Anderson sounding strong as ever and Ponty delivering stunning solos throughout. "Time and a Word" is given a full blown reggae treatment...not sure how much it works or whether hardcore Yes fans will appreciate the arrangement, but it is different and sort of fun. Anderson soars over majestic piano from Minko on "Wonderous Stories", and Glaser's gentle strumming weaves around more lovely Minko piano on a lush but short rendition of "And You and I". Perhaps the most successful of the Yes tunes here is the one we probably wanted to hear the least, "Roundabout", and it's filled with zig-zagging Ponty violin, complex interplay between Minko & Glaser, and strong vocals courtesy of Anderson. On "Infinite Mirage", Anderson adds some lyrics and vocals to the classic Ponty original "Mirage", and it's one of the album's highlights, as Jon's pixie styled vocalizations float over pulsating rhythms and those alluring violin melodies from the master. "One in the Rhythms of Hope" is a great, catchy, pop/prog/jazz tune with another hook laden vocal from Anderson, and the bouncy "Soul Eternal" mixes funk and Latin rhythms in what is another can't miss tune on the album. Jazz meets classical on the stunning "Renaissance of the Sun", and both "I See You Messenger" and "New New World" allow the entire band to weave some addicting melodies for a very pleasing end to the album. Hop on over to the DVD portion of this 2 disc set for footage of the band taped in Colorado in September of 2014, and you can see what a good time they are having here.

If you always thought it made perfect sense for Jon Anderson & Jean Luc Ponty to make music together, Better Late Than Never will only validate that opinion even further and make it a reality. Time will tell if this duo will commit to putting together a full albums worth of original material, but if this is any indication, if they decide to do just that it should prove to be quite exciting indeed.

See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!

Track Listing
1) Intro
2) One in the Rhythms of Hope
3) A for Aria
4) Owner of a Lonely Heart
5) Listening With Me
6) Time and a Word
7) Infinite Marriage
8) Soul Eternal
9) Wonderous Stories
10) And You and I
12) Roundabout
13) I See You Messenger
14) New New World

Added: September 28th 2015
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 2433
Language: english

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