Cosmic Messenger – Jean-Luc Ponty

The MARK’S VINTAGE VINYL page features something from Mark’s collection of recordings from over the years. Most of it is on vinyl – hence the name – though there will be a few entries from his CDs (remember those?).

Cosmic Messenger by Jean-Luc Ponty

Jean-Luc Ponty – Cosmic Messenger (1978, Vinyl) - Discogs

  • Twentieth studio album by fusion jazz violinist Jean-Luc Ponty, released in 1978.
  • Ponty was born in 1942 and by his early twenties, he was faced with a musical crossroads – continue to develop a career as an orchestral violinist, or try a career in jazz violin. Few people considered the violin as an instrument that had a place in modern jazz music. Ponty used a style that avoided the vibrato usually used with the violin. Instead, he emphasized phrasing that was often used in jazz horn arrangements. And, he used guitar pickups on his violin, turning it into an electric violin. This distinguished Ponty as a pioneer in modern jazz.
  • In 1969, he was discovered by Frank Zappa, and Zappa encouraged Ponty to tour with him. Ponty moved his family from France to Los Angeles, and he contributed to three Zappa albums from 1969 to 1974. He also contributed to albums by Chick Corea, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, Elton John and others.
  • By the 70s, his jazz work had evolved into jazz fusion, incorporating jazz with rock, R&B and funk. My musical tastes also had evolved, and jazz fusion was an area that interested me. I started buying Ponty albums, and eventually ended up with seven of his albums released between 1975 and 1982. He has released over 40 albums in his career.
  • Here is a live performance of the title track to the album, Cosmic Messenger, from 1981.



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