When Jean-Luc Ponty first released Life Enigma in 2001, it had been nine years since his last studio album. Coasting on a series of ‘best of’s and live excursions, there was a suspicion that the normally prolific electronic violinist was ready to enter the pantheon and embrace his rich heritage – and there’d be no shame in that, given the heft of his musical yield up to that point.

Life Enigma isn’t a riposte, exactly; it nevertheless dispelled any suggestion that Ponty was a spent force creatively. Billed as a throwback to the Atlantic years – where the Frenchman enjoyed a roaringly successful 10-year-period between 1975 and 1985 – it’s an album that’s more forward thinking than any implication of revisiting former glories.

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