‘Very, very funky, slightly sort of cosmic guys': Ex-Yes man Jon Anderson puts finishing touches on new supergroup

Jon Anderson, who has principally toured as a solo act since leaving Yes in 2004, is building a new band around the former Mahavishnu Orchestra violinist Jean-Luc Ponty. Now, he’s ready to talk about the rest of the lineup.

“We got in touch with [Dream Theater stalwart] Jordan Rudess, who is really a ridiculous piano and keyboard player and a really great rhythm-section players,” Anderson tells Aspen Public Radio. “You’ve got Rayford [Griffin] on drums, and Baron [Browne] on bass. These are very, very funky, slightly sort of cosmic guys. Everybody seems to be on the same sort of planet, which is kind of nice.”

Griffin has worked as a sideman over the years with Ponty, Stanley Clarke and Michael Jackson, among others. Browne has also collaborated with Ponty before, as well as Billy Cobham, Steve Smith’s Vital Information and Brian McKnight.

Anderson says he met Ponty when “he played on a track that I did with a friend of mine, Michael Lewis — who introduced my to Jean-Luc.” Anderson adds that they hope to begin recording in May and June. “We’ll just see what comes,” he says. “We’ve already written some music together via the internet, which is a great modern studio. We’re sort of on the way.”

That doesn’t necessarily mean, however, that he’ll be mounting the kind of globe-trotting tours that his former band became known for over the years. “It’s not something that I miss at all,” Anderson says. “I’m just starting up with a new band this summer, and we’re going to do some recording for next year. If it happens, I will be very happy. But it’s not the reason why you make music.”

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  • Prof. Bryan J Zsurka, Sr.

    It is so good to hear that inexplicably angelic voice once more. I feel as though the earth has a chance once again. Happy you’re back Jon. Let’s get it.