Blues, Jazz, Rock Violinists?

Hey folks - over the years I have really enjoyed Sugar Cane Harris. Can anyone recommend other "non-classical" violinists? (but not really interested in "country fiddle", either). Am familiar with Jean Luc Ponty, Papa John Creach. Violin as in "It's a Beautiful Day", Dan Hicks, UK would work too. Looking forward to your suggestions.
I have Regina Carter, Billy Bang and several by Grappelli.
I love Grappelli, Billy Bang is good also. But Jazz violin is just not my thing. But they are great artists.
Stephane Grapelli has done a lot of fabulous jazz performances.
Stefan Grapelli's work with Django Rheinhardt.
The three unmentioned names that come to mind first:

Michael Doucet of Beausoleil.
Ed Jobson of Roxy Music.
Gatemouth Brown.

Note that Beausoleil has made both rockin' Zydeco records and much mellower waltz records, so choose accordingly. Also note that, while Gatemouth is a terrrific fiddler, 90+% of his recorded material features him on guitar (so choose accordingly) and Jobson also played a lot of piano (so, choose....)


I forgot one more that you should definitely check out:

Waterboys/World Party
And, I guess Warren Ellis, too (see reference in the Steve Wickham Wikipedia entry, above).
I always liked David Cross's work with King Crimson. I know he did some solo work but I'm not sure it got much play. Also Michael Urbaniak is pretty good.
If you like this I can make more recommendations.
Staphane Grappelli, of course.
Nash The slash and Jean Michelle Jarre
Dixie Dregs aka the Dregs. The first four albums are the best with "Dregs of the Earth' being my favorite. "California Screamin" is a live disc that has a good version of "Peaches in Regalia" if you like Zappa type violin arrangements. The violin player, Allen Sloan, left the band and became an anethesiologist. They still get together periodically, but their excellent keyboard player T Lavitz passed away last year.Sloan was replaced by Mark O'Connor who has several great cd's out with "heroes" and "Thirty Year Retrospective" as personal favorites. o'Connor's work with Chris Thile is excellent. Jerry Goodman from Mahavishnu Orchestra has also played with the Dregs. The above recommendations are very fine as well. I particularly like Papa John with Hot Tuna and Jefferson Starship/Airplane. Jobson's contributions to Roxy Music's "Country Life" are fantastic. Check out the solo in "Out of the Blue."
Jerry Goodman, played with John McLaughlin.
Chris Church, plays with Jesse Cook.
Thanks all.
Marty - Seems like our musical tastes might be similar or at least overlap. Appreciate your advice. Very much a Karl/World Party fan. Yet, not 100% sure on the connection to violin. I'll look at Wikipedia.

Do know the Gatemouth name. I will look for violin related stuff.

Jobson is who I was thinking of with the UK reference. Did not realize he did time w/Roxy.

Rnm4 - THANK YOU. In my head I was thinking there is someone with a name similar to Django Reinhardt (sp?) but on violin. (well you'd have to be in my head to imagine any possible similarity in the names). Don't think they were really contemporaries but Stephane is who I couldn't recall. Good reminder.

Bdgregory - will check out Cross and Urbaniak. Always admired the musicianship of the various King Crimson lineups (though the name is kind of creepy).

FWIW...check out"The Blindman's Blues Forum" (see "the Best Blues Rock Violinist" thread). If it works, a link is here...

Found Charles Burnham from this site. Played w/James "Blood" Ulmer (and JBU opens a whole new path of exploration for me).

Thanks again to all.

Billy Bang. I recently listened to his Vietnam - The Aftermath CD, after having not listened to it for many years, and it was a good listen.
It's interesting to see all the Grappelli lovers here. I'm sure that this is my own issue, but....

I absolutely LOVE Django, but I have to listen "around" Grappelli to enjoy the music. There's something about his playing that grates on me and detracts from Django's beauty.

Like I said, this is a reflection on me, not Grappelli, but it does drive me nuts.


PS Ghost, World Party always played live with a fiddler (at least on the ocassions that I saw them). I'd have to go back and listen to the records, but I'm pretty sure that the fiddle parts are there.
Thanks again to everyone who took time to reply. Lots of suggestions to sample. Getting new ideas about music to check out is the best thing about A'gon.

Orpheus - very much enjoyed the Ponty clip on You Tube. I have an LP by him but that video is a little more organic or souful or jazzful or something than what I'd associateed him with previously.

Billy Bang is a new name to me (as are a few others)...more things to check out.

Personal preference leans towards the blues side of the equation. Hope others will check out Charlie Burnham and James Blood Ulmer (e.g., Red House).
Mark O'Connor spans the musical universe from classical to country. Classically trained, IIRC and IMO, the most talented of the popular (read non-classical) violin player out there. More in the country fiddle genre, but very talented, is Alison Krauss' instrumental work.
In a thread about violinists I feel compelled to emphasize Jean-Luc Ponty, a master musician. (Grapelli is considered to be, but I haven't really heard that much, and did not care for what I heard) I love JLP's music and artistry. I've attended his concerts from LA to Detroit and seem him at least 8 times over the decades. JLP is a master violinist, writer, producer, and arranger; a genius, in my opinion.

This is the first time I heard anyone mention "Billy Bang". He comes out of a lot of different bags. The first time I heard him he was into "Carlos Casteneda", who was into the sorcery of Mexican Indians, and wrote about "shamanism" and different states of mind. Billy Bang was using his writings for inspiration. It was all very interesting.

Here is a more recent Billy Bang.
Vassar Clements
A little youtube searching should give you a crack at some of these:

Zbigniew Seifert (releases on Mood and MPS)
Dave Arbus (1st two East of Eden records)
Faith Fraioli (Flying Island)
Darryl Way (the 3 Wolf records are great)
Hollis Brown (Ozone Quartet)
Ric Sanders (Soft Machine , Second Vision)
Jeff Gauthier (has a lot on Cryptogramophone)
Didier Lockwood (Lockwood / Vander / Top is my favorite)
Godfrey Salmon / Raymond Vincent (Esperanto/Danse Macabre)
Jenny Scheinman (lots to pick from, the Tzadik stuff is good)
If you are interested in jazz violin, then Duke Ellington's Jazz Violin Session is a must listen. One of Ellington's best later period efforts.
I was going to mention Staphane Grappelli but I see he has been mentioned.

I just wanted to mention it is nice to see music posts because that is what it is all about.

thanks everyone
Ray Nance.
Not sure about forum apologies if reapeatedly saying "Thanks to all" is getting a little tedious. Philojet - agree with you and hope others benefit from the input on this thread. Orpheus - read with interest your multi-part "jazz tutorial". Personally, I'll take Bang's Castenada connection as a bit of a caution. Onhwy61 - I know little about Duke but he is an iconic figure. I will definitely check out your recommendation. And maybe that will serve as an intro to broader exploration of his work. Duane - thanks for the You Tube ideas. I like running my netbook through a DAC and watching the video while listening to the music.
Once things get going, the OP is soon forgotten anyway. :)
Here are two good representative examples of Jean-Luc Ponty live. The creativity of his writing, playing, and arranging are special as usual. For me there is no one better playing violin:

"No Absolute Time"

You are a very astute observer, Rok2id.
Clear example of how tastes differ. I thought that Jean-Luc was just making noise, senseless music. I know him quite well, his best performances were with John McLaughlin and Mahavishnu Orchestra, just like everyone else's who played with John. He had this special gift to bring the best out of every player. But these days he plays junk too, like Ponty and many others.
Inna, I was always/still am a J.M. fan...oops. This thread is about violinists. I enjoy Regina Carter very much.
If you read the synopsis of Ponty's career in the All Music Guide to Jazz, you will see that he has not been a serious Jazz player. He seems to be experimenting with a lot of stuff. When the words FUSION and Electric Violin appear, they should be seen as red flags. Last seen playing with some west african group. Stuff Smith was not mentioned on the thread yet. Seems to be very good, but the recordings might not be of the best quality. 20's - mid-60's

I highly recommend the All Music Guide to Jazz. Used out dated ones are just as good as new, since all of the good stuff will be there. The most useful part for me is, they tell you what type of jazz the artist played. Helps me avoid those fusion,free,avant-garde,world, noise makers.
Inna, while I agree with your general statement; it's not good enough to be against something, and not be "for" something else.

Why don't you post a "Youtube" that best illustrates the violinist who "floats your boat".
I agree with some of Inna's sentiments,

Jean Luc makes me think of 'POP' not jazz
I like Michael Gray of Pearl Django. If you don't like Grapelli, he might be more to your taste.

I usually like Stuff Smith for jazz.

If you are in a more adventurous mood, check out Min Ben-Ari; also known as the 'hip-hop violinist'
This is Chris Church that I mentioned:

I will try to find something from Mahavishnu years with Goodman or/and Ponty. Unfortunately, most Mahavishnu videos that I saw so far were not the best performances.

This is one of my favorite jazz tunes "Delilah"; she's the one Sampson fell for. This version features Ray Nance on violin and Ahmed Abdul Malik on bass, it's boss.
Jean-Luc Ponty has had a long, long career and I cannot say that I have followed every path he has gone down. What I can say is that at one point he was an excellent jazz violinist. Jean-Luc Ponty Stephane Grappelli is proof. (Note that the link is to a CD that contains contains bonus material. The first five tracks comprise the original album.) There's also a live recording that he did with George Duke that is quite good.
Some Ponty stuff did hit me as cheez whiz... haven't kept up with what he's doing. He's obviously a big talent and he's recorded things that can't rationally be described as pop or fusion. The MPS releases are generally pretty solid and his work on the 1970 World Pacific/Liberty release (King Kong) demonstrates what he can do w/ FZ material, (even Downbeat had sense enough to recognize that this stuff had compositional weight on par w/ Charles Mingus or Oliver Nelson).

And yes you should read recommendations to avoid hearing avant garde noise makers or that f word music, (whatever that is)... if you're not careful you might learn something ... be sure to keep those training wheels on!
"even Downbeat had sense enough to recognize that this stuff had compositional weight on par w/ Charles Mingus"

After reading this statement in your post, this episode came to mind. BTW, I bet Mingus was long dead when DB wrote that nonsense.
Ric Sanders of Fairport Convention and the Ric Sanders Group, really a jazz violinist at heart but has a style that defies all categorization. Really the finest
violinist/composer of anyone on this list.
If you don't like Jean Luc Ponty that's fine. To each his own. All JLP's recordings have not been great. But some of his recordings and live performances of those recordings have been nothing short of amazing. If you haven't witnessed it, you might not be able to relate to what I'm saying. Even though I am primarily a jazz fan Jean Luc cannot be categorized as a jazz violinist. He definitely plays a fusion of many musical sytles and my favorite work from him is from past years. I've seem him around the country many times and his shows have always been electrifying and ultimately "great." He is a virutoso composer and musician. Not even the greatest musicians and artist were great all the time on every recording.
"Even though I am primarily a jazz fan Jean Luc cannot be categorized as a jazz violinist"

Which is my point exactly. I am sure he is great, just not a Jazz great.
Rok2id, who said Jean Luc Ponty was a jazz great?
"Rok2id, who said Jean Luc Ponty was a jazz great?"

No one did. I just stated that he was not a Jazz great. Given the direction and subject of the thread, confusion on this point would have been understandable.
Minor house cleaning detour:
Validity or cultural impact is not determined by what got printed in Downbeat. That said I was surprised to find that during the early and mid 70's the rag was regularly putting Zappa on a pedestal, (Bongo Fury was an exception)... turns out they were right about his stature as a composer and i was too dumb to know it.
Mingus Died in 79'... and a poorly informed highly opinionated A'goner trekkie loses a bet, whoo-hoo.
Words like Jazz, Free Jazz, Avant Garde and Fusion don't really have much descriptive value and often get used by the weak minded to reinforce preconceptions and prejudices. No way am i gonna' play, this is jazz... this isn't jazz, but it's obvious that some of us haven't really listened to Ponty's Sunday Walk (1967) or some of his other early releases.

"Words like Jazz, Free Jazz, Avant Garde and Fusion don't really have much descriptive value and often get used by the weak minded to reinforce preconceptions and prejudices."

Whew!! Talk about dodging a bullet! That lets me off the hook, because I didn't coin any of those terms. I only use them as put downs. In fact, we may agree on this issue. There is Jazz and there is music that is not Jazz. It's as simple as that. No prefixes or qualifiers needed or required. But your statement does call into question the mental condition, prejudices, and precoceptions of the writers and reviewers in the American music industry.

Mingus died in 1979? Thanks for the info. I don't do research when I respond to posts. My point was I could not believe DB would say such a silly thing, BUT, the magazine business is just that , a BUSINESS. I am sure they wish they had better artists and music to review and talk about, but they have to appeal to the people that buy the mag. Hence, Ponty and Zappa and a lot of other non-Jazz types get coverage. I BET :), the writers at DB long for the heyday of Blue Note and the high cabliber Jazz of that era.
Enjoyed your post.
BTW, do you agree of disagree with the idea that culture has to be defended. Otherwise we will have no culture.
I don't think a person can get together with a few friends and start a group, make some sounds, declared the sounds their First Symphony in A minor and then have it show up in the record stores right next to Bach and Mozart.

That's how I see the Jazz question. It's getting to be a dumping ground. People don't like what you are doing, short on talent, call it Jazz. just my two cents.
There you go again, speaking as if your OPINIONS are actually FACTS! Hard for me to fathom how someone that claims to love Jazz can be so tunnel-visioned and narrow-minded (as Jazz is the antithesis of this type of mindset). OK, so according to you, Ponty isn't a Jazz musician because you don't like the TYPE of Jazz he's played. Plz don't even attempt to say Fusion (or avant-garde/free for that matter) isn't Jazz as it really is an ignorant statement. If you hate these forms of Jazz, fine, lots of people do. But to say it isn't Jazz just 'cause you say so amounts to nothing more than a hissy fit! So if YOU don't like Big Band I guess that isn't Jazz either, or vocalese, or latin, or fill-in-the-blank. Jazz is a very small word for a very large music genre. McLaughlin, Corea, Zawinul, Davis, jeez, the list goes on and on, I suppose none of THESE guys are Jazz musicians either!?

Here's the thing, I don't like Ponty's work and I hate avant/free Jazz, but it seems silly to me to deny their existence. You say you're 'defending culture', but in reality, you're attacking it.

Here's a violinist that's been active for decades that I'd bet isn't too well-know around here: Alfredo De La Fe.
Rok2id is not the jazz lover he pretends to be. If he was, he would have at least commented, and possibly applauded some of the gems I presented on "Youtube".

If you notice, he's put everything down, and hasn't put up one single example of what "floats his boat"; that's because I don't think he's got one.
I like almost all of your youtube posts.

I am not into video as such. I have a dvd of "a great day in harlem' and a few blue note dvds, but I have never played them, because I don't have a high quality play back video system. I will correct that soon.

What floats my boat?

Today's playlist
Mariah Carey - Greatest Hits
Ellington and Hodges - back to back / side to side
Armstrong and Fitzgerald - best of
Tina Brooks - true blue
Herbie Hancock - Takin' off
andre Rieu - forever vienna
Carmen McRae - sings monk
Betty Carter - droppin' things
George Benson - tenderly (playing now)

all this and more floats my boat.
The johnny hodges / ellington stuff is truly great.