JJ 08/82: Ponty / Humair / Louiss – Trio HLP

Forty years ago Mark Gilbert welcomed hearing Jean-Luc Ponty in fiery, straightahead mode, on a 1968 Paris club date. First published in Jazz Journal August 1982


These recordings were made at a time when Jean-Luc Ponty, then in his mid twenties, was freelancing around Europe, and, as this material evidences, was still paying his dues to mainstream jazz.

Backed by the extrovert and obtrusive drums of Daniel Humair and the surging, motoring organ of Eddy Louiss, he gives these standards a conventional straightahead treatment. The only possible connection with rock is the electrical one, from Ponty’s violin to amplifier, and this serves to enhance tone and expression, the extra volume allowing greater nuance.

His solos are perpetually inventive, less cliched than those of his compatriot Grappelli, and altogether more melancholy, more blues-tinged, and centred more around the middle register; all of which adds up to a refreshing honesty of expression.

Recommended as an example of an original and distinctive improvisor proving himself in the barest of settings.

You’ve Changed; Summertime (17.85) – Round About Midnight; So What (21.40) – Carole’s Garden; Sonnymoon For Two (22.50) – That’s All; Bag’s Groove (22.00)
Jean-Luc Ponty (v); Eddie Louiss (org); Daniel Humair(d). Live at Le Cameleon, Paris, 1968.
(All Life AL 009/10)