“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.
Lockwood’s The Kid is an “easy listening” fusion album that maintains the depth to be taken seriously. It certainly helps to have Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Famer keyboardist David Sacious (Springsteen, Clapton, Sting), guitar wizard Barry Finnerty (Miles Davis, Brecker Brothers), bassist Alphonso Johnson (Weather Report), and drummer Richie Morales (Spyro Gyra) as playmates. There’s the popish Sunny Sonny, the driving Slight of Hands with its electrifying solos, the ear candy of Something Sweet, and the virtuoso up-tempo Bloody Mary, skirting the borders between hard-bop and fusion. The feel-good rock ballad A Time to Touch moves on to the melodic playground of The Kid. After La Ballad de Francis, Lockwood and Co take on Coltrane’s Impressions at breakneck speed, showing off serious jazz chops. My Favorite Dream is played out in synth heaven; at the end, you may not want to wake up from this fusion fantasy.