In finally tidying up the amount of exposure I give to my “top five” jazz-fusion artists and groups today, I turn to the French violinist and composer Jean-Luc Ponty.

Jean Luc Ponty en Viña del Mar - 14.10.08
Jean Luc Ponty en Viña del Mar – 14.10.08 (Photo credit: medioamedio)

Ponty has been a “beast” for quite some time, with music becoming a large part of his life at a very early age.  His solo discography dates back to when he was in his early 20s.  By the time he recorded “Live At Donte’s” in 1969, he was already an award-winning player.  He landed some gigs with some composers who put together very complex music, such as Frank Zappa and John McLaughlin with Mahavishnu Orchestra.

And then Ponty went out on his own again, opening up whole new minds with his own modern compositions.

I remember back to an evening in my old disc jockey days, around the age of 18 or so, up in Idaho.  I had just gotten off my afternoon shift on the AM country side of the radio station I was working at, and the excitement that day surrounded the broadcast of a concert by the rock group Rush on the FM rock side, one of those “King Biscuit” recordings.

The DJ on the FM side for that broadcast was wanting something very different musically to help get “psyched up” as a lead-in for the Rush show.  I happened to have brought along my perfect audiophile vinyl copy of Ponty’s “Cosmic Messenger” to the studio that day and advised him to play the opening track on the air.

He did.  He liked it.  The fluid, echoed violin run in the middle of it was mind-blowing to him.  When’s the last time anyone else has heard Jean-Luc Ponty music being played on a Top 40 rock station … in Idaho?

I guess I was just a bit on the “cutting edge” side.  What can I say?  Idaho boys sure can appreciate some darn good fiddlin’.

One thought on “My music playlist for today (June 5, 2012 edition)

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