Jean-Luc Ponty: Cosmic Messenger
Jean-Luc Ponty (violin, organ)
Cosmic Messenger (Atlantic 19189-2)
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
In Conversation with Jean-Luc Ponty by Thierry Quénum