June 13, 2024


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CD review: Jeff Ballard – Fairgrounds 2019: Video

Honest, inventive and adventurous, Fairgrounds is the embodiment of Jeff Ballard’s ceaseless desire and energy to move people emotionally, physically and intellectually.

His second album as a leader, sees the US drummer set on a new trajectory of increased recorded output, focus as a bandleader with a new home at British label, Edition Records.

“The only direction or concept I imposed on the players in this group was to feel an absolute freedom to play (or not) whatever they want at any given time. Totally freedom was the only restriction. Structures came from content, or sometimes the structure was already there if we happen to play a specific song but it would be a very new version each time. The music and how we played it came from the moment we all shared then and there, always.” (Jeff Ballard)

About Fairgrounds: Jeff Ballard ranks among the most inventive and adventurous drummers of his generation. He makes music that feels like the 21st century – open, fluid, ever-developing; a sound informed by jazz but truly coming to life where musical worlds collide: acoustic and electric, swinging and ambient, analogue and digital, accessible and experimental. The virtuoso drummer, who made his name playing with Ray Charles, Chick Corea, Pat Metheny and Brad Mehldau, is not inhibited by convention. His music is honest, original and adventurous with a ceaseless desire and energy to move people emotionally, physically and intellectually. Jeff’s latest project and album ‘Fairgrounds’, released on Edition Records, provides a freedom to explore and to express himself with musicians who are close to his heart and mind. The result is highly captivating and bursting with energy. With a rich and flexible musical language, embracing influences as diverse as Jazz, Rock, Pop, Electronica and West African music, ‘Fairgrounds’ is a unique insight into the distinctive sound world of Jeff Ballard.

  1. Grounds Entrance 02:55
  2. YEAH PETE! 05:44
  3. The Man’s Gone 03:56
  4. I Saw A Movie 04:47
  5. Hit the Dirt 05:56
  6. Twelv8 02:15
  7. Marche Exotique 05:19
  8. Grungy Brew 04:38
  9. Miro 07:41
  10. Soft Rock 05:24
  11. Cherokee Rose 03:51

Jeff Ballard, drums, percussion
Lionel Loueke, guitar, vocals
Kevin Hays, piano, keyboards, vocals
Reid Anderson, electronics
Pete Rende, piano, Fender Rhodes
Mark Turner, tenor saxophone (track 6, 8)
Chris Cheek, tenor saxophone (track 5, 11) 

Image result for jeff Ballard - Fairgrounds

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