In 1976, when AURORA was recorded, fusion was on its way out. But that didn't hinder Ponty in the slightest-he was just beginning. AURORA was the goddess of the dawn, and Ponty's electrifying violin signaled her arrival with nova bursts of brilliant light and fire.
Accompanied by guitarist Darryl Stuermer, keyboardist Patrice Rushen, bassist Tom Fowler (like Ponty, another Frank Zappa alumni), and drummer Norman Fearrington, Ponty trades off everything from killer jazz rock ("Is Once Enough") and almost "country"-inflected fusion ("Renaissance") to ravishing acoustic/electric ballads (the dreamy "Lost Forest"). Though virtually alone in making it a fusion instrument, Ponty has single-handedly invented a new vernacular for the violin. Ponty eventually augmented his sound with various electronic devices and MIDI implementation, and AURORA contains some of his first tantalizing steps forward.