A pair of late 70s albums from electric jazz maestro Jean Luc Ponty
– back to back in a single package! First up is Aurora – one of the hippest of Jean Luc Ponty
's mainstream efforts from the 70s – a tightly jamming album that's made even better by plenty of keyboards from Patrice Rushen! Rushen's sound really brings a warmer, more soulful groove to the record – stretching out with flowing solos that remind us a lot of her own early work for Prestige, placed here as a nice contrast to the heavy guitar work of Darryl Stuermer and the sometimes-frenetic work on violin by Ponty
. Tracks have a definite rock fusion approach, but still offer up enough jazzy moments – and titles include "Is Once Enough", "Renaissance", "Aurora (parts 1 & 2)", "Passenger Of The Dark", and "Lost Forest". Cosmic Messenger is an album that really lives up to its title – as the mighty Jean Luc Ponty
mixes together keyboards and electric violin in a really cosmic style – pushing forward both his music and the sound of 70s fusion at the same time – and with the sort of rock-solid approach that always helped his records find a much bigger audience than standard jazz albums at the time! The violin was nothing new in jazz by the time of this set – but in the hands of Jean
, it really takes off in a different way – more keyboard-styled in the structure of the riffs, balanced here with additional keyboards from Allan Zavod, next to more guitar, bass, and percussion – but always in a way that's never too rock-jamming overall. Titles include "Ethereal Mood", "Fake Paradise", "Puppets Dance", "Cosmic Messenger", "Art Of Happiness", and "Egocentric Molecules".