Jean-Luc Ponty

Live at Donte's

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In October 1969 violinist Jean-Luc Ponty recorded a notable live set with keyboardist George Duke, bassist John Heard, and drummer Dick Berk that gained him a lot of exposure in the U.S. He had actually played at Donte's in Los Angeles with Duke (on acoustic piano), Heard, and drummer Al Cecchi the previous March. This is a release that is particularly recommended to listeners who are not interested in Ponty's many fusion projects, because his playing here is relatively straight-ahead and sounds influenced by the work of the mid-'60s Miles Davis Quintet, and not just because he performs Ron Carter's "Eighty-One." Also of great interest are Duke's solos; he would eventually become a funk keyboardist and then a pop producer. In this context, he sounds like a mixture of McCoy Tyner and Herbie Hancock.

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