Jon Anderson has been enthusing about his just-announced collaboration with fusion genius Jean-Luc Ponty for sometime, but Friday brought some of the first in-depth comments from his fiddling friend on their new Anderson Ponty Band.
“We got in contact recently,” Ponty says in an introductory talk, “and we decided to put a great band together. We have many musical affinities, the two of us, but also different experiences — which is something is good, to stimulate each other and create new music. So, I’m very excited about the synergy of our musical personalities. I’m convinced that it’s going to create something very special, and unique.”
Collaborating over a period of three months, Anderson and Ponty are set to debut their new band with a September performance in Aspen, Colorado — one that Anderson says will combine “some of the classic music I wrote with Yes, and he wrote with his bands,” along with new songs.
Jamie Dunlap was also been working with the duo as a co-composer. Their forthcoming album will be launched via a Kickstarter campaign; with a world tour, Anderson promises, in 2015. “It’s been an amazing year for me musically,” Anderson says, as he begins his first band work since departed as a co-founding member of Yes. “The music we’re going to do is wonderful.”
This isn’t Ponty first intersection with a well-known figure in rock. He collaborated with Frank Zappa in the early 1970s, appeared on Elton John’s Honky Chateau, and has appeared on tour with Steve Smith of Journey fame and Daryl Steurmer, the long-time Genesis sideman.