Into The Light (Eden Records/Le Chant du Monde 2742026. International release: 2012)
Into The Light is Clara Ponty’s first album as a vocalist. Clara Ponty has had a reputable career as a classical and jazz composer and pianist. Now she is entering the crowded and highly competitive field of pop; a risky proposition.
“When I was in school, I was so focused on becoming a virtuoso classical pianist, the next Vladimir Horowitz, even though I always sang in choirs and loved to sing,” Ponty recalls. “Then, one day, I had an inspiring flash. I really wanted to sing words. I felt for the first time, deep down, that singing was a natural part of my musical evolution and compositions.”
Although some of the pieces retain some of Clara Ponty’s jazz and classical background, Into The Light is essentially a pop album. The best moments are the pieces like ‘Soul Wonders’ where Clara Ponty shows her masterful piano technique, the dreamy vocal piece ‘Take Me Along’; the world music-inspired ‘Coeur à Coeur’; and the outstanding violin solos provided by her father, fusion jazz legend Jean Luc Ponty.
The album is co-produced by Stuart Bruce and Clara Ponty. Guest musicians include Jean-Luc Ponty on violin, Nigel Kennedy on violin, Vincent Segal on cello, Nathan Malnoury on bass, Guy Nsangue on bass, Xabier Tribolet on drums, Stuart Bruce on bass and guitar, Djanuno Dabo on percussion, Claude Egea on trumpet, Stephane Guillaume on flute, and Damien Schmitt on drums.
“For me, the real strength in life is to live one’s authentic path and to dare to go into the unknown,” says Ponty. “I’ve learned that it’s this ongoing inner work that leads to happiness, and that gave birth to the music on Into The Light.”
“I was intrigued by the possibilities. The voice can hold a note far longer than the piano can, and you can give a more personal expression to it,” Ponty explains. “This step was very natural and channeled more of my femininity and sensuality.”
Into The Light is a Clara Ponty’s first venture as a pop singer, with a radio friendly album featuring a combination of elegant vocal styles.