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The Anderson Ponty Band: Yes Meets Jean-Luc Ponty

by July 29, 2014
Jon Anderson w Jean-Luc Ponty

Jon Anderson w Jean-Luc Ponty

Music Legends Jon Anderson and Jean-Luc Ponty Announce Formation of New Music Ensemble - 

The Anderson Ponty Band!

 

Los Angeles, CA - Music legends Jon Anderson and Jean-Luc Ponty announce the formation of a new ensemble - The Anderson Ponty Band! YES's original singer/songwriter for 35 years, Jon Anderson has had a successful solo career, which includes working with such notable music artists as Vangelis, Kitaro, and Milton Nascimento. International jazz superstar Jean-Luc Ponty is a pioneer and undisputed master of violin in the arena of jazz and rock. He is widely regarded as an innovator who has applied his unique visionary spin that has expanded the vocabulary of modern music. Together these two music icons form a musical synergy that is unparalleled!

A breakthrough feeling came as I sang with Jean-Luc's music, to be in a band again is very exciting on many levels, we will play and sing our way around the world and have fun, for music is pleasure, music is all that is, music is God” - Jon Anderson

The Anderson Ponty Band also includes Jamie Dunlap on guitars - well known as a film and television composer, most notably 'South Park'; Wally Minko on keyboards - virtuoso player and composer who has performed and recorded with many worldwide stars including Pink, Toni Braxton, Jean-Luc Ponty, Tom Jones and Barry Manilow; Baron Browne on bass who has played with Steve Smith, Billy Cobham and Jean-Luc Ponty; and Rayford Griffin on drums and percussion, who has played with Stanley Clarke Band, George Duke, Jean-Luc Ponty and Michael Jackson. The band will visit the music created by Jon Anderson and Jean-Luc Ponty over the years with new arrangements, virtuosic performances and new energy, while creating new compositions as well.

The Anderson Ponty Band have been writing and arranging old favorites during the past three months. They will be in residence for three weeks in September at Wheeler Opera House in Aspen, Colorado rehearsing, recording and playing a public performance on Saturday September 20th. An album will be finished in Los Angeles and is scheduled for release in early 2015. Also, a videography documenting the making of the album will be released as well as videos and performances. A world tour beginning in March 2015 is in the planning stages.

The Anderson Ponty Band announce the launch of a Kickstarter campaign today July 25th beginning at 2PM Eastern. The campaign will encourage fans and friends to become a stakeholder in the project. Numerous tiers of donations will be rewarded by album downloads, premium CD/DVD packages, VIP ticket access, merchandising, special one of a kind collectibles, special meet and greets with the band and much more.

Our Thoughts

After hearing the rather uninspiring new studio release of the new Yes Album Heaven & Earth  featuring Jon Davidson on vocals and the late Chris Squire on bass, we are pleased to see this alternative formation of a Prog Rock/Jazz band featuring the original lead singer and heart of Yes; Jon Anderson at the helm.  Knowing the people behind this band, we have high hopes that the music will maintain the integrity we've all come to love and respect of Yes.  We are relieved to know that the bubble gum keyboards and cranked up bass to volume 11 won't make its way into this band.  What do you think?  Are you ready for the Anderson Ponty Band?

For more Information:

Kickstarter campaign: http://bit.ly/apband2014

Anderson Ponty Band Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/andersonpontyband

Jon Anderson official website: www.jonanderson.com

Jean-Luc Ponty official website: www.ponty.com

Manager: Jim Lewis, [email protected]

 

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158, [email protected]

Interview requests contact Billy James / Glass Onyon PR

About the author:

Gene manages this organization, establishes relations with manufacturers and keeps Audioholics a well oiled machine. His goal is to educate about home theater and develop more standards in the industry to eliminate consumer confusion clouded by industry snake oil.

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Recent Forum Posts:

KEW posts on December 18, 2014 02:11
gene, post: 1043834, member: 4348
The fact that they have Geof Downes on keyboards who can only play the same handful of songs and thus can't alter their playlist at all is a huge letdown.

Let's not forget that Geof Downs does not know how to keep time (constantly rushing) despite Alan White on drums and Steve Howe going over to the keyboards and waving his guitar in time as he played. (at least that is what happened when I saw them at the Atlanta Symphony Hall). Despite that, It was a great concert.

Squire was well balanced with band for this performance, but did what you are talking about when I saw him earlier at a low-budget venue in Charlotte. The low ceiling in Charlotte really amplified the bass and once Squire found the resonant frequency he laid on it over and over. Then, of course there were the members in the audience celebrating how loud that note was cheering him on! As an aside, Wakeman's son was playing keyboards for this one, he can keep time.

I would guess it was whether they had a engineer running the mixing boards to keep Squire in check. Huge difference in these two productions, I have a hard time paying $120 for a concert, but you'd have to pay me to get me to go back to the $40 one!

Re: Squire playing so loud, I have to believe his hearing is going. He is too good of a musician for me to believe he would deliberately mess up the bands balance the way he did in Charlotte. I am not talking standing out from the band, I am talking drowning out the band! Ego would have him playing loud with the band, but not obscuring the band!
The Dreaming posts on October 20, 2014 10:53
I've seen Yes live many times, including twice in August 2014 and have never had a problem with Chris Squire's bass sound. Sounded great to me (in fact, he rocked it on The Fish). Squire actually met Jimmy Hendrix and admires him (of course, I can't speak to how he played with Hackett, but I would be surprised if he ruined a Hendrix song).

On another note, here is a quote from the Anderson Ponty Band before the first comments page of the website:

"After hearing the rather uninspiring new studio release of the new Yes Album Heaven & Earth featuring Jon Davidson on vocals and ego driven Chris Squire on bass, we are pleased to see this alternative formation of a Prog Rock/Jazz band featuring the original lead singer and heart of Yes; Jon Anderson at the helm. Knowing the people behind this band, we have high hopes that the music will maintain the integrity we've all come to love and respect of Yes. We are relieved to know that the bubble gum keyboards and cranked up bass to volume 11 won't make its way into this band. What do you think? Are you ready for the Anderson Ponty Band?“

I think this comment is unprofessional and not helpful. No need to insult the new album or make accusations about what drives band members or make other disparaging remarks about the quality of the keyboards. Although Geoff Downes is no Rick Wakeman, he is a very qualified keys player. I've seen him perform several times and he has chops, if not the same as Wakeman. To say that his keyboards are ”bubble gum keyboards“ is totally inaccurate and very insulting, which isn't necessary. To imply that the attitude of the current lineup of Yes (or the bass plalying of Chris Squire) is synonymous with ”volume 11“ mentality is simply unfair. Obviously, this is a reference to the brilliant mockumentary ”This is Spinal Tap“, but it implies that Suire's attitude or intelligence is similar to the guitarist's in the movie. This is clearly not true for anyone familiar with Yes. I noticed that if you click on the ”reply" button, that some of the negative remarks have been removed. This is a little too late, as the original comments are still there on the previous page.

Do I wish Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman were still in Yes? OF COURSE! Was Heaven and Earth a disappointment? Somewhat. Believe Again and Subway Walls were great to me and there were a few other great moments on the album, but too much of it was a little lackluster. Fly From Here was better and Drama was much better. I still enjoy the current lineup of Yes, though, and I am excited to hear what the APB sounds like. My point is that there is no need to discredit the current lineup or its album. Just talk about the good qualities of your new band's album and leave it at that.
Peart2112 posts on August 10, 2014 09:12
Gene - I went to the show at the Mahaffey last Saturday, it was better than I thought it would be but still not the same without Anderson there. And as you said above, Squire was over-amplified as usual. He hit a few notes that left my friends and I saying “what the hell was that?”. The highlight for me was seeing Steve Howe and despite Downes being average at best, they did a great job with ‘South Side of The Sky’ and he nailed the middle piano part.
gene posts on July 31, 2014 09:34
EricP, post: 1043793
I do have some respect for the late iteration of Yes insofar as they at least are touring and they keep making albums. I've even gone to a couple of shows over the past five years. I don't know if I'm quite ready to toss out Steve Howe and Chris Squire and relegate them to bubble gum rock. But, all you would have to do is go as far back as the “The Ladder” to realize the magic this band used to have. Imitation Jon is NEVER going to stand up to the real thing. I live in L.A. and regret sadly I never saw Jon Anderson perform solo in Santa Barbara. All I can say is that when two visionaries like Jon Anderson and Jon Luc Ponty decide to collaborate, the results have to be enormous. Both musicians produce records that do more than just sound good. They take their listeners on a journey. I'm very much looking forward to hearing this band's material and hope that they come to or near L.A.

I was on the Cruise to the Edge and had to endure Chris Squire's ego driven bass cranked to vol 11. It was quite painful especially when he guest appeared with Steve Hackett and totally ruined a Jimmy Hendrix song. The guy knows no limits to his ego. I hate to say it but Yes is better off without him.

The fact that they have Geof Downes on keyboards who can only play the same handful of songs and thus can't alter their playlist at all is a huge letdown. I'd rather see Trevor Rabin back in yes anyday!

In any even, Ponty/Anderson band looks very promising!
adk highlander posts on July 31, 2014 08:26
Jean-Luc Ponty is the man. Oh the Zappa days.
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