Monday, December 15, 2014

jazz long playing

Jean-Luc Ponty took a chance on jazz and left his day job with a major symphony orchestra to pursue a unique horny violin sound on this daring debut.    Born in Avranches, France to a father that taught violin and a mother that taught piano; he was accepted to the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris at the age of sixteen. Graduating two years later with the prestigious Premier Prix, he took a position as a violinist with the Concerts Lamoureux sympony orchestra in Paris.  At the same time, he developed a passion for jazz music and began performing in clubs around the city at night while working for the orchestra during the day.  He even dabbled with playing the clarinet and the saxophone until he decided to focus his primary instrument on jazz.  His method of playing was more influence by jazz horn players that by typical violin technique.  It only took a year for his unique style to catch on, and he recorded his debut album in June and July of 1964 with producer Daniel Richard for the Philips label.  'Jazz Long Playing' features Jean-Luc Ponty on violin;   Michel Portal on flute;  Eddy Louiss on piano;  Gilbert Rovere and Guy Pedersen on double bass;  and Daniel Humair on drums.   

Ponty says:   "Naturally, I had to make a choice, so I took a chance with jazz ...  I started as a rather sophisticated musician when I started playing jazz. It very quickly became modern and avant-garde jazz,  I was happy about the reissue [on CD of Jazz Long Playing] because I forgot how I used to play. The record really sounds like it has a bebop violinist on it. I only played jazz for three or four years at that time. I had a vinyl copy which I could not play anymore because it was so scratched. It came as a surprise when the jazz label at Universal in Paris found it—probably in a closet somewhere. They sent me a few copies of the CD and I was happy because I rediscovered my playing from that era. It was also interesting for me because Life Enigma found me once again developing my sound and working with new instruments as I did following Jazz Long Playing. I've sort of come full circle...People who choose to pick up the instrument tend to be different as individuals because of the posture that needs to be adopted and the discipline and dedication required. I guess I was eccentric when I was a young guy. [laughs] I don't really see myself as eccentric, but I can be at times and yes, Nigel Kennedy is eccentric. But behind any eccentricity is a discipline. That eccentricity cannot exist 100 percent of the time. The dedication, concentration and discipline of practicing the instrument is absolutely necessary throughout the whole life of a violinist. To this day, if I'm away from my instrument for a few days, I feel a little bit rusty when I play it again. It's the most difficult instrument in the world to play in tune. So, even if a violinist appears to be eccentric, you're likely seeing a good violinist who is a very serious personality that has something deep going on inside them."

"Au Privave"

'Jazz Long Playing' 
full album:

"Une nuit au violin" (Martial Solal) - 4:43
"Modo Azul" (Jef Gilson) - 4:38
"Spanish Castels" (George Gruntz) - 3:40
"Sniffin' the Blues" (Jef Gilson) - 3:28
"Postlude in C" (Raymond Fol) - 3:21
"Au Privave" (Charlie Parker) - 3:45
"Manoir de mes rêves" (Django Reinhardt) - 3:05
"YTNOP Blues" (Jean-Luc Ponty) - 3:10
"I Want To Talk About You" (Billy Eckstine) - 3:48
"A Night in Tunisia" (Dizzy Gillespie) - 3:02
"Satin Doll" (Duke Ellington) - 4:20

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