The Jean-Luc Ponty Experience with The George Duke Trio is a jazz album released in 1969 by Jean-Luc Ponty on World Pacific Jazz in the US, and is considered to be one of the earliest jazz fusion albums. This was the third album of note for pianist George Duke.
“This live date by violinist Jean-Luc Ponty marks a transitional period in his career, where he was making the switch from an acoustic to an electric rhythm section, but prior to his incorporation of banks of synthesizers and special effects. One of several recordings he made with keyboardist George Duke in 1969 (they would later work together under Frank Zappa for a brief stretch in the early ’70s), this set opens with Duke’s very catchy “Foosh,” a choppy mix of modal and funk. Wolfgang Dauner’s meandering “Pamukkale” is a bit of a disappointment. Ponty’s “Contact” is easily the most adventurous track of the set, featuring the leader’s furious violin. Their treatment of Herbie Hancock’s “Cantaloupe Island” is fairly straight-ahead, without any particular surprises, though it might have been more interesting had Duke been playing a grand piano instead of a muddy-sounding electric piano. Bassist John Heard and drummer Dick Berk pretty much stick to timekeeping roles. This English LP, released by Sunset, is identical in musical content to the World Pacific LP initially released in the U.S. as Live at Thee Experience.” – Ken Dryden/AllMusic.
“Foosh” (George Duke) – 8:48
“Pamukkale” (Wolfgang Dauner) – 6:15
“Contact” (Jean-Luc Ponty) – 7:03
“Cantaloupe Island” (Herbie Hancock) – 8:20
“Starlight, Starbright” (Jean-Bernard Eisinger) – 9:00
Jean-Luc Ponty – electric violin
George Duke – electric piano
John Heard – bass
Dick Berk – drums
Recorded: September 22, 1969
Venue: Thee Experience, Hollywood
Label: Pacific Jazz
Producer: Dick Bock