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Jean-Luc Ponty - King Kong: Jean-Luc Ponty Plays the Music of Frank Zappa  CD (album) cover

KING KONG: JEAN-LUC PONTY PLAYS THE MUSIC OF FRANK ZAPPA

Jean-Luc Ponty

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.93 | 37 ratings

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greenback
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars In my vinyl collection, this record is filed under the "Frank Zappa" section. I always believed this album is a Frank Zappa's one, not a Ponty's one: indeed, it is Frank who composed the music here.

The involved style is a mix of fusion, experimental jazz & RIO/Avant Garde music, made of saxes, piano and classical acoustic instruments, like cello, viola, French & English horn, bassoon, oboe and obviously violins played by Ponty himself. Many tracks can be found on some Zappa's albums.

The side 2 contains one track, which clearly has a RIO/Avant garde style with some jazz/fusion elements: "Music for Electric Violin and Low Budget Orchestra"; this track is partly covered on the Zappa's "Studio Tan" album; obviously, I prefer this more modern version, but the original version on Ponty's record here, lasting nearly 20 minutes, contains VERY impressive & addictive parts, although sometimes dissonant & experimental: some will recognize a bit covered in Zappa's "Bogus Pomp" track ("Orchestral Favorites"). The track "Music for Electric Violin and Low Budget Orchestra" finishes with a more joyful note, as reveals George Duke's secure rhythmic piano.

The side 1 is more jazz rock/fusion-oriented: it contains the excellent "The idiot bastard son" track, taken from the earlier Zappa's "We're only in it for the money" album; it also contains the wonderful "20 small cigars", covered a bit later on the Zappa's "Chunga's Revenge" album.

It is clear here that Ponty proudly plays in the foreground: indeed his violin takes a huge part of the music, despite the compositions strongly remain Zappa-oriented. For 1970, this was excellent!!

Rating: 4.5 stars

greenback | 4/5 |

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