King Kong: Jean-Luc Ponty Plays the Music of Frank Zappa

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King Kong: Jean-Luc Ponty Plays the Music of Frank Zappa
Studio album by Jean-Luc Ponty
Released May 25, 1970
Recorded October 6–7, 1969 at Whitney Studios, Glendale
Genre Jazz fusion, Avant-garde jazz
Length 43:42
Label World Pacific/Liberty
Producer Richard Bock
Jean-Luc Ponty chronology
Electric Connection
King Kong
Open Strings
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
All About Jazz (favorable)[1]
Allmusic 4/5 stars[2]

King Kong: Jean-Luc Ponty Plays the Music of Frank Zappa (or simply King Kong) is an album by French jazz fusion artist Jean-Luc Ponty first released in 1970 on Liberty Records' World Pacific Records subsidiary label and later released on Blue Note. The album contains numerous selections Zappa had previously recorded either with the Mothers of Invention or under his own name, including:

George Duke, who would eventually join Zappa and Ponty in the Mothers, is featured on piano on all tracks. Ernie Watts is featured on alto and tenor saxophone on all tracks except for "Music for Violin and Low Budget Orchestra". Zappa himself plays guitar on one selection, and Mothers members Ian Underwood (tenor sax) and Art Tripp (drums) contribute to the album as well.

Track listing[edit]

All songs by Frank Zappa unless otherwise noted.

Side One[edit]

  1. "King Kong" – 4:54
  2. "Idiot Bastard Son" – 4:00
  3. "Twenty Small Cigars" – 5:35
  4. "How Would You Like to Have a Head Like That" (Jean-Luc Ponty) – 7:14

Side Two[edit]

  1. "Music for Electric Violin and Low-Budget Orchestra" – 19:20
  2. "America Drinks and Goes Home" – 2:39


  • Jean-Luc Ponty – electric violin, baritone violectra
  • Frank Zappa – guitar
  • George Duke – piano, electric piano
  • Ernie Watts – alto and tenor sax
  • Ian Underwood – tenor sax
  • Buell Neidlinger – bass
  • Wilton Felder – Fender bass
  • Gene Estes – vibraphone, percussion
  • John Guerin – drums
  • Art Tripp – drums
  • Donald Christlieb – bassoon
  • Gene Cipriano – oboe, English horn
  • Vincent DeRosa – French horn, descant
  • Arthur Maebe – French horn, tuben
  • Jonathan Meyer – flute
  • Harold Bemko – cello
  • Milton Thomas – viola

Production notes[edit]

  • Richard Bock – producer
  • Frank Zappa – arranger, composer, conductor
  • Gerald Wilson – conductor
  • Ian Underwood – conductor
  • Leonard Feather – liner notes


  1. ^ Kelman, John (2011). "Jean-Luc Ponty | Electric Connection / King Kong". Retrieved 13 August 2011. 
  2. ^ Huey, Steve (2011). "King Kong: Jean-Luc Ponty Plays the Music of Frank Zappa - Jean-Luc Ponty | AllMusic". Retrieved 13 August 2011.