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Jean-Luc Ponty

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Jean-Luc Ponty - Imaginary Voyage [Atlantic SD 19136] (1976)

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ITEM# SR-ATSD19136
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Artist:

Jean-Luc Ponty

Title:

Imaginary Voyage

Released: 1976
Label: Atlantic
Catalog: SD 19136
Genre: Jazz
NOTE: 1977 Reissue
T R A C K L I S T:
01 New Country
02 The Gardens Of Babylon
03 Wandering On The Milky Way (Violin Solo)
04 Once Upon A Dream
05 Tarantula
06 Imaginary Voyage (Part I)
07 Imaginary Voyage (Part II)
08 Imaginary Voyage (Part III)
09 Imaginary Voyage (Part IV)
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Album Review

Richard S. Ginell [allmusic.com]

As of 1976, Jean-Luc Ponty's variations on the Mahavishnu Orchestra theme were still fresh and imaginative, cast in a distinctively different, more lyrical, more controlled framework. For Imaginary Voyage, Ponty's instrumental lineup is identical to that of Mahavishnu -- electric violin, guitar, keyboards, bass, drums -- but he turns the emphasis on its head, with all commands coming directly from the violin (his) and less competitive crossplay emanating from his colleagues. For starters, "New Country" is a lively jazz-rock hoedown, one of those periodic C&W side trips that some fusioneers attempted for a lark, and "The Gardens of Babylon" is a wonderfully memorable tune, the beginnings of which grow out of "New Country." The last half of the CD is taken up by the title composition, a strong four-part suite that hangs together with barely a sag in interest over its 20-minute span.


Jean-Luc Ponty - Cosmic Messenger [Atlantic SD 19189] (10 August 1978)

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ITEM# SR-ATSD19189
Ratings: C=VG+; LP=VG+

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Artist:

Jean-Luc Ponty

Title:

Cosmic Messenger

Released: 10 August 1978
Label: Atlantic
Catalog: SD 19189
Genre: Jazz, Fusion
Note: Label variation, pressed at Specialty Products, Olyphant, Pennsylvania ("SP"-suffix matrix on labels).


Matrix / Runout (Side A):
STA-784115-F SRC 1-1 STERLING

Matrix / Runout (Side B):
1-2 St-A 784116-E SRC E.7. STA-
T R A C K L I S T:
01 Cosmic Messenger
02 The Art Of Happiness
03 Don't Let The World Pass You By
04 I Only Feel Good With You
05 Puppets' Dance
06 Fake Paradise
07 Ethereal Mood
08 Egocentric Molecules
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Album Review

Richard S. Ginell [allmusic.com]

Cosmic Messenger is more elegant, European-flavored jazz-rock from the French virtuoso Jean-Luc Ponty, and pretty much in the same mold as his previous Atlantic albums but with gradually tightening control over every parameter of performance. Ponty's analog-delay special effects on the title track are spectacular, and the album is loaded more than ever with revolving electronic arpeggios as Ponty's own involvement with the ARP synthesizer grows. But there is still plenty of his fluid, slippery electric violin soloing to be heard within the tight structures of these pieces, and the tunes themselves are often pretty good. In addition, this fusion express finds its way into the funk on ''The Art of Happiness,'' and there are some tricky rhythmic experiments on some tunes.


Jean-Luc Ponty - Civilized Evil [Atlantic SD 16020] (1980)

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ITEM# SR-ATSD16020
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Artist:

Jean-Luc Ponty

Title:

Civilized Evil

Released: 1980
Label: Atlantic
Catalog: SD 16020
Genre: Jazz / Fusion
NOTE: Mastered by Bernie Grundman
T R A C K L I S T:
01 Demagomania
02 In Case We Survive
03 Forms Of Life
04 Peace Crusaders
05 Happy Robots
06 Shape Up Your Mind
07 Good Guys, Bad Guys
08 Once A Blue Planet
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Jean-Luc Ponty - Mystical Adventures [Atlantic SD 19333] (1982)

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ITEM# SR-ATSD19333
Ratings: C=VG; LP=VG+

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Artist:

Jean-Luc Ponty

Title:

Mystical Adventures

Released: 1982
Label: Atlantic
Catalog: SD 19333
Genre: Jazz


T R A C K L I S T:
01-05 Mystical Adventures (Suite)
06 Rhythms Of Hope
07 As
08-09 Final Truth
10 Jig
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Album Review

Mystical Adventures is an album by French jazz fusion artist Jean-Luc Ponty, released in 1982.

Personnel

Jean-Luc Ponty – electric violin, organ, synthesizer, keyboards, vocals, acoustic violin
Paulinho Da Costa – percussion
Jamie Glaser – guitar
Rayford Griffin – drums
Randy Jackson – bass
Chris Rhyne – synthesizer, piano, Fender Rhodes, synthesizer bass, Oberheim 8 Voice, Prophet 5

Jean-Luc Ponty's biography

Richard S. Ginell [allmusic.com]

It has been a long, fascinating odyssey for Jean-Luc Ponty, who started out as a straight jazz violinist only to become a pioneer of the electric violin in jazz-rock in the '70s and an inspired manipulator of sequencers and synthesizers in the '80s. At first merely amplifying his violin in order to be heard, he switched over to electric violin and augmented it with devices that were associated with electric guitarists and keyboardists, like Echoplex machines, distortion boxes, phase shifters, and wah-wah pedals. Classically trained, with an unquenchable ability to swing when he wants to, and consumed by a passion for tight structures and repeating ostinatos, Ponty has been able to handle styles as diverse as swing, bop, free and modal jazz, jazz-rock, world music, and even country, mixing them up at will. Starting in 1977, he also pioneered the use of a five-string electric violin with a low C string. Undoubtedly, he rivals Stéphane Grappelli for the title of the most prominent and influential European jazz violinist.

Ponty's father -- the director of the school of music in Avranches and a violin teacher as well -- got Jean-Luc started on violin at the age of five, and his mother tutored him on piano. He left school at 13 in order to practice six hours a day in the hope of becoming a concert violinist. At 15, he was accepted into the Paris Conservatoire, ultimately winning the premier prix at age 17. He played with the Concerts Lamoureux Orchestra for three years, during which time, thanks to the influence of Grappelli and Stuff Smith, he became interested in jazz. Oddly enough, Ponty began playing jazz first on the clarinet and tenor sax, waiting until 1962 to apply it to the violin. After a hitch in the French Army (1962-1964), Ponty went completely over to the jazz camp, leading quartets and trios in Europe, recording with Grappelli, Smith, and Svend Asmussen on Violin Summit, and visiting the U.S. for the first time in 1967 at a Monterey Jazz Festival workshop. Enriching himself with diverse American experiences in 1969, Ponty recorded with Frank Zappa, joined the George Duke Trio, and upon his return to France, formed the free jazz Jean-Luc Ponty Experience (1970-1972) before settling in the U.S. and rejoining Zappa's Mothers of Invention. He toured and recorded with the Mahavishnu Orchestra in 1974-1975 and then set out on his own, compiling a long series of solo albums on Atlantic that pulled away from the more volcanic aspects of fusion toward a more lyrical, European, yet still exciting extension of Mahavishnu's idioms.

In 1983, after his records began to sound increasingly formulaic, Ponty switched gears and recharged his creative batteries on the synthesizer. Starting with the Individual Choice album, he began constructing attractive revolving patterns of electronic sounds with the help of sequencers, producing backdrops for his violin that were elegantly indebted to Europop influences. He took this direction with him when he signed with Columbia in 1987, but on 1991's Tchokola album Ponty was on the move again, throwing out the sequencers and recording with West African musicians who provided him with new ostinato patterns to play with. Ponty opened the 21st century with Life Enigma in 2001, following it with Live at Semper Opera that same year. A live Warsaw date from 1999 was released in 2004 as Jean-Luc Ponty in Concert. The Acatama Experience appeared in 2007.
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