Jean-Luc Ponty: Cosmic Messenger


Cosmic Messenger


Jean-Luc Ponty (violin, organ)


Cosmic Messenger (Atlantic 19189-2)

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Jean-Luc Ponty (violin, organ),

Peter Maanu, Joaquin Lieviano (guitars), Ralphe Armstrong (bass), Casey Scheuerell (drums)


Composed by Jean-Luc Ponty


Recorded: Hollywood, CA, 1978


Rating: 87/100 (learn more)

"Cosmic Messenger" is a gentle spaced-out jazz-rock ballad. Guitarists Maanu and Lieviano create a slow spatial arpeggio round-robin. Ponty plays pizzicato through some sort of echo device. The guitarists then double-up on the theme. Ponty soon joins them in soaring mode. Ponty then goes effects crazy – although at a very slow tempo. Reverb, echoes and perhaps some early form of looping are all heard. Scheuerell's measured elastic drumming offers calming reassurance. The ambience created is meditative and relaxing. This is a state of mind I wish more messengers would deliver.

There weren't too many fusion ballads floating around back then. But educated jazz-rock audiences grew to appreciate them as diners appreciate a sorbet between courses. You need to cleanse that palate to get ready for the next over-the-top fusion anthem. There is something funny about fusion ballads. If you sped them up by a power of two, they became fusion anthems.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

Related Links

In Conversation with Jean-Luc Ponty by Thierry Quénum

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  • 1 Andy // Jan 22, 2009 at 06:33 PM
    Words cannot describe how I feel about this song. It's badass, yet very very healing. I am 21 years old, and a self-taught musician of 10 years. I've always felt something brilliant about the violin, but never anything so much as healing until this song came into my world. Share it! Please make sure the world hears this sone before it is too late!