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Jean-Luc Ponty

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Jean-Luc Ponty The Jean-Luc Ponty Experience with The George Duke Trio [Aka: Live in Los Angeles] album cover
3.45 | 20 ratings | 3 reviews | 10% 5 stars

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Live, released in 1969

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Foosh (8:48)
2. Pamukkale (6:15)
3. Contact (7:03)
4. Cantaloupe Island (8:20)
5. Starlight, Starbright (9:00)

Total Time 39:26

Line-up / Musicians

- Jean-Luc Ponty / electric violin

- George Duke / electric piano
- John Heard / bass
- Dick Berk / drums

Releases information

Recorded live at Thee Experience, Los Angeles, September 1969

Artwork: L'Goeque

LP World Pacific Jazz ‎- ST-20168 (1969, US)
LP Sunset Records ‎- SLS 50232 (1970, UK) Entitled "Live in Los Angeles"

CD One Way Records ‎- S21 17372 (1993, US)

Thanks to ivan_2068 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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JEAN-LUC PONTY The Jean-Luc Ponty Experience with The George Duke Trio [Aka: Live in Los Angeles] ratings distribution

(20 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(10%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

JEAN-LUC PONTY The Jean-Luc Ponty Experience with The George Duke Trio [Aka: Live in Los Angeles] reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Money
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars This album sounds nothing like the shiny electric world beat and new age influenced music that Ponty would end up playing later in his career. These jams were recorded in the late 60s and show Ponty playing a jazz-rock style that was growing out of the roots of hard bop and soul-jazz. A good way to describe this style would be an even mix of RnB/jazz, rock jam sessions and avant-garde jazz. This style was kicked off by Miles Davis and his sextant when they would often suspend the beat and allow the drummer and soloist to interact in a freer rhythmic sense. Other major influences on this rock influenced fee jazz were John Cotrane and Ornette Coleman, but in more indirect ways than Miles.

By the late 60s, when this album was recorded, many artists were playing in this style including Jack Dejohnette, Herbie Hancock, Weather Report, Tony Williams, as well as some rockers such as King Crimson and Henry Cow. This is not a style that Ponty would stay with for long, that it is why this is a unique album for Ponty fans to check out.

Most of these songs start out with a nice bluesy hard bop groove, but as the soloists kick in drummer Dick Berk starts to take things to another level. Most of Ponty's solos are good and show how much his early playing was influenced by sax players like Ornette and Trane. He even has breaks in his lines that are similar to a horn player's breathing patterns. Ponty's solos are good, but keyboardist George Duke's solos are incredible. Duke really connects with Berk and creates dense layers of rhythmic variation and sheets of sound that parallel some of the best work by Tony Williams and Herbie Hancock. The difference is that Duke and Berk add a bit more rock style noise and energy to their energetic flights. It helps that Duke is playing an almost distorted electric piano instead of a more subtle acoustic piano.

This is a great album that captures a unique style of jazz that only lasted for a few years, but was an influence on music in general for many years to come.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars This is an unassuming album, with Jean-Luc Ponty playing with George Duke's trio (I bet you couldn't pick that up from the title). While the sound is electric (electric violin, electric piano & electric bass), the music is barely fusion. Despite the electric tones, the songs are essentially bebop.

It's not bad. All of it is pleasant listening, but most of it is not terribly memorable. In fact, the only track where the band really catches fire is Starlight, Starbright, where Duke ignites the band with a truly great keyboard solo. Ponty then takes charge on his violin. The song meanders for a bit, but at least there's a passion in the playing.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Another unique item in the Ponty's and Duke's discography, not only because of the names that meet in the Frank Zappa's group again. Both lead players would soon abandon the rich improvisational music that was at its height in 1969-1970 inspired by Miles. Then, we have the first electric album ... (read more)

Report this review (#2875811) | Posted by sgtpepper | Tuesday, January 17, 2023 | Review Permanlink

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