Jean-Luc Ponty

The Jean-Luc Ponty Experience with the George Duke Trio

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This live date by violinist Jean-Luc Ponty marks a transitional period in his career, where he was making the switch from an acoustic to an electric rhythm section, but prior to his incorporation of banks of synthesizers and special effects. One of several recordings he made with keyboardist George Duke in 1969 (they would later work together under Frank Zappa for a brief stretch in the early '70s), this set opens with Duke's very catchy "Foosh," a choppy mix of modal and funk. Wolfgang Dauner's meandering "Pamukkale" is a bit of a disappointment. Ponty's "Contact" is easily the most adventurous track of the set, featuring the leader's furious violin. Their treatment of Herbie Hancock's "Cantaloupe Island" is fairly straight-ahead, without any particular surprises, though it might have been more interesting had Duke been playing a grand piano instead of a muddy-sounding electric piano. Bassist John Heard and drummer Dick Berk pretty much stick to timekeeping roles. This English LP, released by Sunset, is identical in musical content to the World Pacific LP initially released in the U.S. as Live at Thee Experience.

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