Friday, 10 October 2014

Jon Anderson on Working With Jean-Luc Ponty, Yes’ New Album and More






Matt Roberts, Getty Images


Jon Anderson parted ways with Yes in 2008, when health concerns kept him from committing to a tour. But he has remained incredibly active over the intervening six years, juggling an endless variety of projects at a time — and doing so at his own pace.

That began around four years ago, when Anderson took a bold creative step. He put up a website advertisement — “Musicians Wanted” — asking complete strangers to send him minute-long musical samples. This opened the door for a series of Mp3-based collaborations, some of which formed the basis for his 2011 solo record ‘Survival & Other Stories.’

Anderson’s latest collaborative project features a far more well-known figure. The Anderson Ponty Band unites the singer with jazz-fusion violinist Jean-Luc Ponty — best known for his acclaimed solo work and side-man gigs with the likes of Frank Zappa.

After being re-introduced through Ponty’s manager, the two started an unorthodox creative process, with Anderson recording vocals over the violinist’s instrumental tunes. Once they realized the potential of combining their strengths, the two conceptualized their collaboration as an ensemble. The pair has now been joined by Ponty’s trusted backing band (drummer Rayford Griffin, bassist Baron Browne, keyboardist Wally Minko) and Anderson’s guitarist friend Jamie Dunlap.

The the Anderson Ponty Band’s plan is unique: Along with newly composed material, they plan to rework classic Yes and Ponty tracks for a “free-form” live concert experience at the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen, Col. The results will be recorded for a planned CD/DVD package, and the sextet is counting on fans to back the project through a Kickstarter Campaign — which has (as of this writing) raised nearly $85,000 of its $95,000 goal. Donators will receive a number of increasingly tempting rewards, ranging from a copy of the album to visiting the mixing sessions.

Ultimate Classic Rock spoke with Anderson about the origins of this exciting new project, and we touched on a number of interesting topics along the way — including a forthcoming “progressive” collaboration, his thoughts on Yes’ recent material and the incredible “harmony” that defined Yes’ classic ’70s period.

Read on... | 



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Survival And Other Stories
CD - £9.99

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