Jean-Luc Ponty

More than Meets the Ear

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Jean-Luc Ponty made a strong impression with his appearance at the 1967 Monterey Jazz Festival. Just barely 26 at the time of this obscure but worthy album (his first to appear on an American label), Ponty is teamed with pianist George Gruntz, trumpeter Carmell Jones, altoist Leo Wright, drummer Daniel Humair and an unidentified bassist. In addition to five originals by either Ponty or Gruntz, they perform a pair of pop songs (including Miriam Makeba's "Pata Pata") and the Beatles' "With a Little Help From My Friends." Already a very original player, Ponty's style at this early point was far beyond hard bop and looked a little toward both pop and John Coltrane. Unfortunately, this fine effort will be difficult to find and has yet to be reissued on CD.

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