Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

255

Jimmy Ponder: Somebody's Child

John Barron By

Sign in to view read count
The jazz world is full of unsung legends that generally fly under the radar of mainstream attention. One such legend is Pittsburgh native and guitarist extraordinaire Jimmy Ponder, who has been recording soulful, swinging jazz for four decades strong as both a leader and sideman. Somebody's Child, his latest in a string of successful releases for High Note Records, finds the thumb wielding master grooving strong on a diverse set of ballads, blues and straight ahead classics.

With his signature sound and bluesy, bop inspired lines, Ponder traverses familiar terrain on his own compositions "Kickin' Da Bobo and the title track. On the latter, a pensive, lyrical ballad heard in two separate versions, Ponder encompasses the essence of his unique style: lush chords, soulful single note lines and razor sharp octaves. Woody Shaw's classic "Moontrane, a highlight of the session, is a solid display of the guitarist's mastery of intricate harmonies.

Ponder, like his idol Wes Montgomery, plays with his thumb exclusively. Unlike Montgomery, however, Ponder exercises a more aggressive, punchy approach that makes his instrument rattle and hum, creating moments of sheer exuberance, most noticeably on "Too Late Now and "The Creator Has a Master Plan.

Ponder sits front and center quite comfortably with the support of a stellar cast of sidemen. Handpicked by the guitarist, the session's dynamic group of likeminded Pittsburgh stalwarts includes pianists Howard Alexander and Sonny Barbato, bassists Tony De Paolis, Jeff Grubbs and Dr. Mike Taylor, drummers Greg Bandy and George Heid—brother of famed jazz organist Bill Heid, and guitarist Douglas Malone, who accompanies Ponder with the Brazilian violao on "There Will Never Be Another You.

Somebody's Child is a wonderful addition to the recorded legacy of one of the most underrated voices in jazz. There isn't a single note of pretension or gimmickry to be found in Ponder's playing, only honesty, openness and, most importantly, soul.

Track Listing: Kickin' Da Bobo; Moontrane; Too Late Now; Wild is the Wind; Seven Steps to Heaven; Somebody's Child; Who Will Be the One; Somebody's Child Reprise; There Will Never Be Another You; The Creator Has a Master Plan.

Personnel: Jimmy Ponder: guitar; Howard Alexander: piano (1-6, 8, 10); Sonny Barbato: piano (7); Tony De Paolis: bass (6, 10); Jeff Grubbs: bass (1-5); Dr. Mike Taylor: bass (7); Greg Bandy: drums (1, 2, 4, 5, 10); George Heid: drums (3, 6, 7), percussion (4); Douglas Malone: violao (9).

Title: Somebody's Child | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: HighNote Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Lattice CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by John Sharpe
Published: December 14, 2017
Read I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert CD/LP/Track Review I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Celebrating William Parker at 65 CD/LP/Track Review Celebrating William Parker at 65
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Eternal Life CD/LP/Track Review Eternal Life
by Jerome Wilson
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Baby It's Cold Outside CD/LP/Track Review Baby It's Cold Outside
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Wrong Turns And Dead Ends CD/LP/Track Review Wrong Turns And Dead Ends
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 13, 2017
Read "Duo (DCWM) 2013" CD/LP/Track Review Duo (DCWM) 2013
by John Sharpe
Published: July 28, 2017
Read "The Treasury Shows, Vol. 24" CD/LP/Track Review The Treasury Shows, Vol. 24
by Chris Mosey
Published: November 21, 2017
Read "Out On The Coast" CD/LP/Track Review Out On The Coast
by Joe Gatto
Published: January 17, 2017
Read "14.11.2016" CD/LP/Track Review 14.11.2016
by Nicola Negri
Published: April 25, 2017
Read "Such A Sky" CD/LP/Track Review Such A Sky
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 25, 2017
Read "Live in Sant’Anna Arresi, 2004" CD/LP/Track Review Live in Sant’Anna Arresi, 2004
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 17, 2016

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!