Better Late Than Never
Released on September 25th 2015 as CD+DVD (Deluxe Edition) and CD (jewel)
This is a collaboration between two giants in the world of modern music, Jon Anderson and Jean Luc Ponty. The melding, exploring of the musical talents of Jon Anderson vocals prowess that have improved with age and Jean Luc Ponty’s manipulation of the violin that always delights with the magic of deft bow work on vibrating strings works a treat. Better Late than Never is an album packed with undulation keys, searing vocals, and pitch perfect exciting violin creating a soundscape full of interesting tonal textures. A blending of sounds that assert themselves demanding you to sit back and listen.
The album comprises a mix of Yes favourites, Jean Luc’s compositions and recreating and shaping others into new pieces of work. This is definitely not Yes re-visited each piece has been re-worked and given a new lease of life by the recording style used which is unique, the risks were taken and the rewards are obvious. Throughout the album you have a feeling that this is live recording amalgamated with studio work. AndersonPonty Band, Better Late Than Never has a sound that has a freshness it is as if they played the music they love and identify with; no track has been set in vintage aging aspic. They have been given the breath of new life, energy and shape.
Opening with a short instrumental Intro your musical ear is intrigued it feels like an opening for a symphony as the sounds are deep and full of energy, this Prog Rock with a modern twist and you just want to dive deep into what the album undoubtedly will unfold. The tempo of the intro is kept for One In The Rhythm Of Hope, and you hear the vocal cadences of Jon Anderson with the superb jazz inspired violin from Jean Luc Ponty and I was hooked.
Reggae tones and beat with sharp violins in the re-arrangement of Yes’, Time and A Word, you listen with new interest and the constant once again is the power of the lyrics delivered by Jon Anderson’s vocals. A timeless number that us right for any moment as a piece of music that stands alone or in a collection of Better Late Than Never. The selected songs Wonderous Stories, And You And I, Owner of a Lonely Heart, and Roundabout Andersons vocal’s and Yes were intertwined with our youthful dramas.
Following on from Prog Rock meets reggae is the re-working of Jean Luc Ponty’s composition; Mirage re-named Infinite Mirage Anderson’s vocals change the dimension of the original with an inspirational vocal layer.
The concept of Better Late Than Never works well for this collaboration between the two of them goes back to the 1980’s when Jon Anderson originally approached Jean Luc Ponty. Now 30 years later the dream has finally come to fruition!
The whole album is full of gems, not in a Prog Rock sense but in a musical context… do I have a favourite? yes I do – A for Aria. Why? It is the instrumentation Jean Luc’s Ponty violin work is impressive and cajoles with the guitar and Jon Andersons’ vocals are full of colour and emotion, it is a track that I could never get bored with.
Finishing with New New World, an upbeat number with again the winning combination of violin and vocals. It is a title that reflects that this an album about music moving forward not being trapped in preconceptions of style and defined by types. Better Late Than Never experiments and transcends genres of music to create music you want to listen to.
The album has a fluid composition that excites and intrigues Better Later Than Never is an album of classical proportions in the true sense it is modern classical music that excites, entertains and has the power to move you. Simply this is an album to own, listen love and cherish Better Late Than Never as part of your collection.
Bluesdoodles gives this CD TEN doodle paws out of TEN ….
2. One In Rhythm Of Hope
3. A For Aria
4. Owner Of A Lonely Heart
5. Listening With Me
6. Time And A Word
7. Infinite Mirage
8. Soul Eternal
9. Wonderous Stories
10. And You and I
11. Renaissance Of The Sun
13. I See You Messenger
14. New New World
The AndersonPonty Band also includes
Jon Anderson: Vocals, Guitar
Jean Luc Ponty: Violins
Jamie Glaser: Guitars
Wally Minko: Keyboards
Baron Browne: Bass
Rayford Griffin:Drums and percussion,