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Lorenza Ponce Self-Titled CD Cover
Image © 1999 LMP Records 

(05 March 2000) Released after touring with Kitaro as his lead violinist, Lorenza Ponce's debut album Imago (Angel (USA) 7243 5 555568 2 0, 1997) was widely acclaimed as an instrumental and vocal masterwork (see Celestial Voices review ©1998-2000 Graham Lubin). Since releasing Imago, New York-based Lorenza Ponce has toured on Sheryl Crow's 1999 Globe Sessions tour and was a featured violinist and vocalist for new age megastar John Tesh's One World 1999 tour. Ponce has also performed alongside Stevie Nicks, Deborah Harry and did session work for Tricky, Jon Anderson (Yes), Siverchair and Ben Folds Five as well as those she has toured with. Lorenza's second, self-titled album (LMP Records (USA) LMP 0101, 1999) has pulsing world beats, exotic instrumentation and has culled its inspiration from her travels around the world. It is indeed a look straight into the heart of a mesmerizing artist.

The new album is comprised of eight stunning tracks with lush worldly or contemporary classical crossover arrangements and feature moody evocative and sensual vocals. Asian and Middle Eastern themes derived from strings and percussion are combined with contemporary electronic sounds to create a highly memorable soundscape. Most of the album's tracks are produced by Lorenza with Floyd Fisher. Five of the tracks sport vocals while the remaining three are purely instrumental. The percussion, vocals and strings are introduced in the album's opening track "Deeply" solos for each illustrate the virtuosity of the individual performances.

Lorenza's vocals carry the song "Saved" supported by a light, worldly instrumental arrangement. Multi-tracking in the chorus adds an Enya-like texture to the sound. "The Vision" is an especially worldly instrumental with supporting vocalise to add texture. The violn work is gorgeous, naturally! "Ruby" has stunning vocal work, sharp worldly percussion and a tremendous string arrangement that contribute to the overall texture of the track. "Into The Daylight" is written, performed and was produced by Lorenza. Sensitive vocals and a more pronounced violin arrangement with uptempo percussion contribute to the accessibility of the song.

Lorenza's voilin virtuosity is the feature attraction in the lovely ballad-paced instrumental "Can You Hear Me" which like the track that follows moves away from the earlier world sound of the album. She continues into the intro of "The Gift" where her vocals resume. A soft, sensitive, multi-tracked ballad, the song features stunning vocal work and equally soft violin rich instrumental arrangements. In the album's lovely classical contemporary crossover closing track, "Beloved," multi-tracked strings seem to share a melody similar to that from Mark Snow's "Suite from the X-Files" (review).

Lorenza Ponce's self-titled album features world tunes, sensitive ballads and classical contemporary crossover tracks certain to please a broad audience. Checkout a soundbite at Lorenza's mp3.com website. With vocal and instrumental virtuousity including spellbinding violin performances, her new album is worth extensive exploration, a long distance journey for sure—a must listen!

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