Having originally studied classical violin, Jean-Luc Ponty explored jazz violin
with Stephane Grappelli, and eventually followed his own path to the sounds of
fusion. Having started a recording career with the 1967 album Sunday Walk,
Ponty also appeared as a guest on numerous other artists' albums. Most visible
to many rock audiences as a sideman on Frank Zappa's Hot Rats, Apostrophe
and Overnite Sensation albums. He has also appeared on Elton John's Honky Chateau LP.
Ponty also recorded several records as a member of the Mahavishnu Orchestra with John McLaughlin in the early-to-mid 70's. The focus of Ponty's best-known (and most "progressive") fusion work would include the albums Upon The Wings Of Music (1975), Imaginary Voyage (1976), Aurora (1977) and Enigmatic Ocean (1977). These albums included performances by Daryl Stuermer (Genesis, Phil Collins' solo work) and Allan Holdsworth (Gong, Soft Machine, and countless others, including Level 42!). Ponty's more recent recordings have seen him move away from violin and more toward synthesizers.
The list of Ponty's other collaborators is impressive, including George Duke, Grover Washington, Jr., George Benson Ray Parker, Jr., Chick Corea, Patrice Rushen, and Paulinho Da Costa.
The Prog Rock Corner selection for 8/18/96 was "Tarantula" from the 1976 album Imaginary Voyage.
Prog Rock Corner Index
Our impression of "Tarantula":
More bombastic and rocking than we would have expected. Great use of dynamics; an almost fugue-like arrangment.
Find out more about Jean-Luc Ponty:
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