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Jean-Luc Ponty - Cosmic Messenger CD (album) cover


Jean-Luc Ponty


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.77 | 111 ratings

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5 stars Will I be the FIRST to give this unbelievably GREAT record its FIRST FIVE STAR rating at ProgArchives?!

Sure, it's predecessor, Enigmatic Ocean, was a landmark recording if there ever was one in the jazz-fusion realm, but it seems that we allow ourselves to judge albums based on previous or future efforts instead of listening to a given record in isolation, without bias.

Cosmic Messenger was my introduction to JLP and only a year or two later did I listen to Enigmatic Ocean. I'm glad that was the progression I took because it's made me appreciate Cosmic Messenger all the more. Honestly, I can't find much difference between the two records, as far as complexity and musicianship are concerned. Other than the trickier solo trading between Holdsworth and Ponty on Ocean nothing stands out from Ocean enough to eclipse Cosmic Messenger.

One thing we can be sure of: Cosmic Messenger is THE LAST HEAVY JLP album. After this he started getting into synth sequencing and more softer, melodic and funkier stuff. Here we have much more distorted and effect driven violin solos than on any future JLP release. The guitars play heavier comping lines and the overall feel of the album is more prog-jazz-rock(think of UK) than the techno-jazz-fusion found in later releases. The guitar solos are more prominent and rock oriented than on most anything that we find later on.

Specially interesting to proggers should be the pieces Don't Let The World Pass You By and Egocentric Molecules. The former has JLP performing violin shredding gymnastics via effects and distortion that may have you wondering if it's a guitar, a keyboard or....or....who knows what! The latter is a flat-out prog masterpiece. Heavy, intense, melodic and frightening to hear such COSMIC musicianship!

FIVE STAR MASTERPIECE, without much thought and equal to Enigmatic Ocean in every respect.

wbiphoto | 5/5 |


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