Gifted with astounding technique, Frenchman Jean-Luc Ponty single-handedly brought the violin into the modern jazz era. Critic Joachim Berendt wrote, "Since Ponty, the jazz violin has been a different instrument.” Open Strings presents Ponty at his pre-fusion best. Recorded in 1971 after working together for over a year together, this quintet of world-renowned musicians play on the creative edge. Pianist Joachim Kühn is something of a German legend, and American bassist Peter Warren has played with just about everyone from Dionne Warwick to Don Cherry. Flipping Parts I, II and III are a triptych of connected pieces with ever-changing tempos, moods and modes, as the musicians exchange places and combinations. The interplay ranges from melodic to aleatory explorations. Open Strings has the musicians playing off each other – there’s a lot of risk-taking here, and Kühn’s technical mastery, sense of humor, and sheer inventiveness is mind-boggling. Sad Ballad builds in intensity before subsiding into a melancholy melody juxtaposing chaos and simplicity. Fascinating and exciting music on the edge.