As a violinist in the changing music world of the 1960s and 1970s, Jean-Luc Ponty was it. He was a pioneer on the instrument, plugging in to be heard with screeching guitars and blaring horns. He not only had the chops-busting harmonic and rhythmic language of bebop down pat, but he had virtuoso abilities from his classical training. He combined them during a time of upheaval, in music and in society, in groups like Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention and John McLaughlin's hair-raising Mahavishnu Orchestra. And he transferred it to his own bands and music.
Ponty has remained at it ever since, even as others on his instrument come onto the scene, some of them gaining significant stature among critics and listeners. Ponty remains one of its virtuoso players and an important stylistic springboard from violinists of the swing era to the age of post-bop, rock and even psychedelia.
AAJ Contributor R.J. DeLuke spoke to Ponty recently, about his new album The Acatama Experience, Frank Zappa, John McLaughlin and how the musical landscape has changed.
Check out Jean-Luc Ponty: Strong as Ever at AAJ today!
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