It made sense, but was still surprising. When it was announced that Yes vocalist/songwriter Jon Anderson had joined forces with Jean Luc Pont, a revered jazz violinist, bandleader and sideman (Frank Zappa, among others), one could almost hear the collective grin breaking across the faces of prog and fusion fans the world over. Anderson, one of the greatest singers and conjurors of gorgeously wistful melodies ever to grace the planet, seemed the perfect match for Ponty’s effortless marriages of classical motifs and jazz harmonies.
The band – which houses the virtuosos Jamie Glaser (guitar; Chick Corea, Lenny White), Wally Minko (keys; Pink, Toni Braxton, Tom Jones), Baron Browne (bass; Vital Information, Billy Cobham) and Rayford Griffin (drums; Stanley Clarke, George Duke, Michael Jackson) – released an album, “Better Late Than Never,” in the fall. It offers new music as well as inventive new arrangements from Anderson and Ponty’s respective oeuvres.
Now, the Anderson Ponty Band has taken to the road for a tour that includes a stop at the Riviera Theatre and Performing Arts Center (67 Webster St., North Tonawanda) on 8 p.m. Tuesday. Tickets are $39 to $46.50 (box office). Visit rivieratheatre.org.
– Jeff Miers