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A bit of an airy-fairy tinkly-twinkly affair, Clara Ponty'sThe Embraceis nourishment for the gentle soul. Yet as with her father,Jean-Luc, renowned electric-violin fusionist, the younger Ponty bases much of her piano stylings on jazzy themes of repetition married with complex rhythmic structures and classical signatures. The title cut, for example, features acoustic six-string guitar, cello, cloud organ, and "ambient sounds" along with Ponty's elegant piano trilling. "Echo" begins with aboriginal-sounding flute and percussion, whereas "Les Berceaux (The Cradles)" is an Old World ethereal lullaby featuring angelic vocals by the Knoop Children's Choir. Ponty's rich tones caper with the vibration of a 36-string zither on "Spirit Dancer," and the composer's own softly distressed vocals blend with African-inspired percussion for an exotic mix on "Lasting Peace." On the closing "Bridge of Clear Light," her piano melody floats and saunters above it all.--Paige La Grone
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Label:  Philips
ArtistClara Ponty
Release Date:  June 8, 1999
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review by . December 08, 1999
posted in Music Matters
Not many musicians in any genre come with such extensive credentials or musical genes, but Clara Ponty fully lives up to both. I've been listening to some great albums, but The Embrace rises to the top in its musical complexity, integrity, and pure artistry. Trained to compete as a classical pianist on an international level, Clara has always been surrounded with some of the top musicians in the world (obviously including her father, renowned jazz violinist Jon-Luc Ponty). Although leaning to the …
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