Rite of Strings Live at The Montreux Jazz Festival 1994 Out October 28 on CD

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Mercury Studios Presents

Three World-Class Musicians in Rare No-Drums Format

~Al DiMeola, Jean-Luc Ponty, Stanley Clarke~

Rite Of Strings

Live at The Montreux Jazz Festival 1994

First Time on CD

Pre-Order HERE


New York, NY (September 13, 2022) —Mercury Studios is proud to release for the first time on CD Rite Of Strings: Live At The Montreux Jazz Festival 1994 on October 28. Previously released on DVD in ’05, the brilliant interplay between three virtuoso musicians—Al Di Meola, Jean-Luc Ponty and Stanley Clarke—is on full display. The nine-track two-CD set features such deep cuts as “Renaissance” and “Memory Canyon” along with six others. Violinist Jean-Luc Ponty had never played with guitarist Al Di Meola. Their special on-stage chemistry is all over this sterling performance.

Di Meola—dubbed “Best Jazz Guitarist” by Guitar Player magazine for five consecutive years (’77-’81)—is on fire. His solos on acoustic guitar sting in a non-stop dizzying flurry of notes while bassist Clarke slides up, over and underneath his every riff with alarming dexterity. The absence of drums frees each master musician to fill in the spaces with pure technique.

At 21, Clarke first played Montreux with Stan Getz. Later in his career, his “slap” technique became a funk standard. His solo School Days, in ’74, cemented his rep as a fusion icon.

Jean-Luc Ponty exploded out of Europe to join Frank Zappa and Mahavishnu Orchestra. Known for being the first violinist to fully integrate electronics and effects into his playing made him the Jimi Hendrix of the Violin. Here, in an acoustic format, his playing is sweet, swift and fully supportive.

The CD starts in the key of Coltrane: “Song To John” a Clarke/Corea composition from Clarke’s ’78 Modern Man. Clarke’s “La Cancion De Sofia” is a portend of things to come as it would prove to be the highlight of this trio’s subsequent album together a year later. Solo spots then ensue climaxing with Ponty’s “Eulogy To Oscar Romero” off his 1983 Individual Choice. A folkloric South American groove permeates Di Meola’s “Chilean Pipe Song” as all three spiral upwards to a whirlwind conclusion.

Since the spectral presence of Chick Corea hangs over this night, a second version of “Song To John” ends the proceedings as guest pianist Monty Alexander perfectly recreates what Corea himself might have added. But the crowd hadn’t had enough, demanding a second encore “Indigo.”

Track Listing

CD #1 1) “Song To John” 2) “Memory Canyon” 3) “La Cancion De Sofia” 4) “Summer Country Song” 5) “School Days” 6) “Eulogy To Oscar Romero”

CD #2 1) “Renaissance” 2) “Chilean Pipe Song” 3) Song To John (with Monty Alexander) 4) Indigo

About Mercury Studios:

Mercury Studios is a multi-faceted content studio established to develop, produce, globally distribute, and invest in innovative, music-rooted storytelling across a range of media including film, television, podcasting, publishing, and live-streamed performance. Taking its name from the iconic Mercury Records label, Mercury Studios is powered by Universal Music Group and creates an open space for experimentation to unleash and amplify both emerging and established artists. With offices in London and Los Angeles, Mercury Studios harnesses its established relationships with best-in-class talent from music and film, seamlessly bridging the two worlds to create a completely distinctive community of trailblazers driven by original IP, innovation, and collaboration.


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