The Acatama Experience

Universal Music Classics & Jazz
Release date
21 May 2007
Running length
14 tracks
Running time


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    Track     Duration Listeners
1 Intro 0:15 46
2 Parisian Thoroughfare 4:39 1,768
3 Premonition 3:43 2,417
4 Point Of No Return 6:45 1,528
5 Back In The 60's 4:03 3,115
6 Without Regrets 4:29 1,531
7 Celtic Steps 5:52 1,854
8 Desert Crossing 3:03 1,648
9 Last Memories Of Her 5:21 1,366
10 The Acatama Experience 2:01 1,462
11 On My Way To Bombay 4:33 1,329
12 Still In Love 5:07 1,077
13 Euphoria 4:49 1,315
14 To And Fro 4:21 1,253

About this album

The title refers to the Atacama Desert on the Pacific coast of South America. Sadly, in the first edition of the album, the name Acatama was used by mistake.
Source: Wikipedia English: The Atacama Experience

Jean-Luc Ponty has dabbled in commercialized music off the beaten path of for quite a number of years, a dilution of the straight-ahead and -oriented music that made him an instantly recognized post-Stéphane Grappelli performer.
The Acatama Experience is apparently a good one for Ponty, as his “new” style harks back to his emergence in the mid-’70s.

It’s a back-to-basics approach, paring down the histrionics and processed electric violin to a merely amplified, natural approach. Ponty has also surrounded himself with two excellent players in keyboardist William Lecomte and drummer Thierry Arpino, and on three tracks an old friend, the Belgian guitarist Philip Catherine.
The band gets things rolling with a contemporary, funky, yet very respectful version of Bud Powell’s “Parisian Thoroughfare,” with other variations away from the core sound including an eighth note-centered “Celtic Steps” replete with danceable fiddlistics, the portable road song “Still in Love,” and the title cut — an unusual, understated, spacy, ambient, overdubbed solo for Ponty on various instruments.
The retro tracks are contemporary in nature, but reminiscent of his days with the Mahavishnu Orchestra. “Premonition,” with help from Catherine, is a natural circular stairstep two-note climb with a booming electric bass guitar line from Guy Nsangué Akwa, while the waltz “Last Memories of Her” has the same basic ascendant quality with Lecomte’s melancholy piano signifying the end of a beautiful friendship.

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  • ikarus999


    11 Jul 2010 Reply
  • FenoFromSky

    Yeah, it's actually pretty sad they messed up like this :/

    5 Apr 2009 Reply
  • alexwlevine

    Actually, the name must be THE ATACAMA EXPERIENCE, Atacama (like the chilean desert, on wich Jean-Luc inspired)) not Acatama. Someone screwd up the title at the record company.

    22 Dec 2007 Reply

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