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Jean-Luc Ponty: Strong As Ever

By Published: August 20, 2007

Ponty says the number of "real geniuses, as opposed to just followers are far fewer. "There's a sort of conformity... The young generation might be more conformist than we were, especially in the '60s. It was the whole society, it wasn't just music. The goal was to push the limits and experiment and that was praised. We were able to experiment and develop our own vision. Nowadays, for young musicians, it's very difficult to find a record deal, especially if they don't comply to a specific style so that the record companies will know how to market it. We did not have that worry when I started. That has to be taken into consideration.

"I see two branches, basically. Those who really conform and learn jazz like we were learning classical music before. They are not really creators. They are more interpreters of styles that they learned and reproduced. But I still hear young people who have their own vision and who are experimental and are able to use the sounds and tool of their generation. In Europe, there is a whole movement that is especially strong in Scandinavia where they play acoustic jazz but mix it with some electronic sounds and some rock rhythms. There are some pretty good things.

"I think we can trust mankind to always produce some individuals who will be able to change music at some point.

Selected Discography

Jean-Luc Ponty, The Acatama Experience (Koch, 2007)
Jean-Luc Ponty, Life Enigma (JLP, 2001)
Stanley Clarke/Al Di Meola/Jean-Luc Ponty, The Rite of Strings (Gai Saber, 1995)
Stanley Clarke, East River Drive (Epic, 1993)
Jean-Luc Ponty, No Absolute Time (Atlantic, 1992)
Jean-Luc Ponty, Tchokola (Epic, 1991)
Jean-Luc Ponty, Enigmatic Ocean (Atlantic, 1977)
Jean-Luc Ponty, Imaginary Voyage (Atlantic, 1976)
Chick Corea, My Spanish Heart (Polygram, 1976)
Jean-Luc Ponty, Aurora (Atlantic, 1975)
Jean-Luc Ponty, Upon the Wings of Music (Atlantic, 1975)
Mahavishnu Orchestra, Visions of the Emerald Beyond (Columbia, 1975)
Mahavishnu Orchestra, Apocalypse (Columbia, 1974)
Frank Zappa, Apostrophe (Ryko, 1974)
Elton John, Honky Chateau (MCA, 1972)
Jean-Luc Ponty, Cantaloupe Island (BGO, 1970)

Photo Credit
Marek Lazarski

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