SD 19189 Cosmic Messenger
Produced by Jean-Luc Ponty
Released on 1978
US CHART POSITION #36 . . . US JAZZ ALBUMS CHART POSITION #2
Find it at GEMM
SD 19189 cover  

J ean-Luc Ponty continues to plumb his pleasant brand of fusion on Cosmic Messenger, keeping at its core the tight, circular patterns found in most of his work from this period. While there are a few tracks that stand out -- the mesmerizing title track, the sentimental “I Only Feel Good With You,” the spiritual “Ethereal Mood” -- most are indistinguishable from the bulk of his Atlantic output. While Ponty has toned down the violin solos, replacing them with guitar solos from Peter Maunu and Joaquin Lievano in many cases, the decision to keep the rest of the band bound to the same small circumference of music limits their impact. “Egocentric Molecules” does break things open, allowing Ralphe Armstrong and new drummer Casey Scheuerell to flex their muscles. The same can’t be said for “Don’t Let the World Pass You By,” “Fake Paradise” and “The Art of Happiness,” which are based in some cases on nothing more than a couple of notes seesawing back and forth. With the violin and guitars taking the lion’s share of the solos, keyboardist Allan Zavod recedes further into the background, which is something of a shame. Cosmic Messenger is enjoyable and engaging -- really, all of Ponty’s albums are to a large extent -- but like an animal on a leash it seems unable to stray for any length of time from its established idiom. Whether Cosmic Messenger is deemed consistent or redundant depends on your saturation point for Ponty’s music. Honestly, the tracks represented on the double-disc compilation Le Voyage are probably as much of this message as you need to hear.

SD 19189 back cover SD 19189 picture sleeve
SD 19189 back cover SD 19189 picture sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. COSMIC MESSENGER    4:38
  2. THE ART OF HAPPINESS    4:33
  3. DON'T LET THE WORLD PASS YOU BY    6:23
  4. I ONLY FEEL GOOD WITH YOU    3:05
  5. PUPPETS' DANCE    3:40
  6. FAKE PARADISE    5:41
  7. ETHEREAL MOOD    4:03
  8. EGOCENTRIC MOLECULES    5:44

    All music composed and orchestrated by Jean-Luc Ponty

CREDITS

JEAN-LUC PONTY -- Five-string electric violin, electric violin, organ, lead synthesizer, orchestron, acoustic violin
RALPHE ARMSTRONG -- electric bass, fretless electric bass
JOAQUIN LIEVANO -- electric guitar, acoustic guitar
PETER MAUNU -- electric guitar, acoustic guitar, guitar synthesizer
CASEY SCHEUERELL -- drums, percussion
ALLAN ZAVOD -- electric piano, polyphonic synthesizer, lead synthesizer, grand piano, organ
Ed E. Thacker -- engineer, mixing
Claudia Ponty -- cover concept
Daved Levitan -- front cover painting
Gary Heery -- back cover photo
Sam Emerson -- inner sleeve photos

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US/CAN 1978 Atlantic LP/CS SD 19189 picture sleeve
UK 1978 Atlantic LP K 50505 picture sleeve
BRA 1978 WEA LP 30083  
GER 1978 Atlantic LP ATL 50505 picture sleeve
US July 1987 Atlantic CD 19189  
JPN   Atlantic CD AMCY-2095  

 

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