Jimmy Ponder

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Jimmy Ponder
Birth nameJames Willis Ponder
Born(1946-05-10)May 10, 1946
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DiedSeptember 16, 2013(2013-09-16) (aged 67)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
GenresJazz, soul jazz
Years active1960s–2013
LabelsCadet, Impulse!, Milestone, Muse, HighNote
Associated actsCharles Earland

Jimmy Ponder (May 10, 1946 – September 16, 2013) was an American jazz guitarist.[1]

Ponder started playing guitar at age 14. He was influenced most by Wes Montgomery and Kenny Burrell.[2] He began playing with Charles Earland at 17, and in the following years with Lou Donaldson, Houston Person, Donald Byrd, Stanley Turrentine, and Jimmy McGriff. He moved to Philadelphia and later New York City in the 1970s, and recorded extensively as a leader for a number of jazz labels. Since the late 1980s, he frequently returned to his hometown to perform with his trio of two other Pittsburgh musicians, Roger Humphries and Gene Ludwig. Ponder's highest charting release was the 2007 CD "Somebody's Child", topping at #3 on the JazzWeek "airplays" chart in June of that year.

Ponder died in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, aged 67 in September 2013.[1]


As leader[edit]

  • While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Cadet, 1973)
  • Illusions (Impulse!, 1976)
  • White Room (Impulse, 1977)
  • All Things Beautiful (LRC, 1978)
  • Seven Minds (America, 1979) (released in France only)
  • Ponder'n (51 West, 1981)
  • Down Here On the Ground (Milestone, 1984)
  • So Many Stars (Milestone, 1985)
  • Mean Streets – No Bridges (Muse, 1987)
  • Jump (Muse, 1988)
  • Come On Down (Muse, 1990)
  • To Reach a Dream (Muse, 1991) rec. 1988–1989
  • Jimmy Ponder: Sonny Lester Collection (LRC, 1991) compilation
  • Soul Eyes (Muse, 1995) rec. 1991
  • Something to Ponder (Muse, 1996) rec. 1994
  • James Street (HighNote, 1997)
  • Steel City Soul (32 Jazz, 1998) compilation
  • Guitar Christmas (HighNote, 1998)
  • Ain't Misbehavin' (HighNote, 2000) rec. 1998
  • Thumbs Up (HighNote, 2001)
  • Alone (HighNote, 2003) rec. 2000
  • What's New (HighNote, 2005) rec. 2002
  • Somebody's Child (HighNote, 2007)
  • Live at the Other End (Explore, 2007) rec. 1982

As sideman[edit]

With Rusty Bryant

With Donald Byrd

With Hank Crawford and Jimmy McGriff

With Lou Donaldson

With Charles Earland

With Andrew Hill

With Richard Groove Holmes

  • Blues All Day Long (Muse, 1988)
  • Hot Tat (Muse, 1989 [rel. 1991])

With Johnny Hodges

With Willis Jackson

With Etta Jones

With Clifford Jordan

With Jack McDuff

With Jimmy McGriff

With John Patton

With Houston Person

With Sonny Phillips

  • My Black Flower (Muse, 1976)

With Shirley Scott

With Lonnie Smith

With Joe Thomas

With Mickey Tucker

With Stanley Turrentine

With Joe Lee Wilson

  • Come and See (Explore, 1981 [rel. 2007])


  1. ^ a b Nowlin, Rick (19 September 2013). "Obituary: Jimmy Ponder / One of Pittsburgh's great jazz musicians". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 1 October 2016.
  2. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Jimmy Ponder | Biography & History | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 1 October 2016.

External links[edit]