“After Stephane Grappelli and Jean-Luc Ponty, France now has a third great violin player, His name is Didier Lockwood.” (Liberation, Paris). Besides Grapelli and Ponty, Lockwood’s influences include Polish violinist Zbigniew Seifert, John Coltrane, and Frank Zappa. Born in 1956, Lockwood was classically trained, but moved on to rock-inspired jazz at an early age. He followed in Ponty’s fusion footsteps with the use of the electric violin, taking it one step further by experimenting in extending the sounds of the violin.
The 1980 Live in Montreux presents Didier Lockwood at his fusion best. He has multi-Grammy winner Jan Hammer (Mahavishnu Orchestra, music for Miami Vice) along for the ride, as well as the intense, soulful American saxophonist Bob Malach. On Fast Travel, the group performs up-tempo musical legerdemain as first Malach, then Hammer, and finally Lockwood pull out their bag of tricks. Flyin’ Kitten radiates a bouncy melodic rock-inflected ambiance, while Ballade des Fees portrays a haunting, wispy fairytale. With its infectiously gamboling 2-beat feel, there’s a folkish quality to Zebulon Dance; Lockwood’s plucked violin and Hammer’s guitar-like synth explorations are highlights. Four Strings Bitch shows off the violin’s willful eccentricities in a virtuoso one-man performance that ventures from classic and bluesy acoustic play on through to electronic experimentation.