Tuesday, July 10, 2018

US Drummer Jeff Ballard Signs to Edition (EDITION RECORDS)

Jeff Ballard, the virtuoso drummer who has made his name playing with the likes of Ray Charles, Chick Corea, Pat Metheny and Brad Mehldau has signed to Edition Records with his new album, Fairgrounds, due for release in January 2019.

Jeff Ballard makes music that feels like the 21st century – open, fluid and ever-developing - a sound informed by jazz but truly coming to life where musical worlds collide: acoustic and electric, swinging and ambient, analog and digital, accessible and experimental.

With Lionel Loueke on guitar and vocals, Kevin Hays on keyboards and vocals and Reid Anderson on electronics, the album also features saxophonists Mark Turner and Chris Cheek, Pete Rende on keyboards, who also recorded and mixed the album, with mastering by Nate Smith. This is a potent combination of musicians who revere the past while realising that art is always made in the present tense; they grew up versed in deep traditions but are keen to blur boundaries between genres. Jazz, rock, electronica and West African music all figure in the shape-shifting, cross-cultural sound of this dream band.

A new home for Jeff on an independent and European label presents new opportunities for him. As Jeff explains; ‘I feel extremely lucky to have come into contact with Dave and Edition Records. It is sort of a dream come true in that I feel with them I have the means, the modern means, to reach a larger public with complete artistic freedom and support. This is one of the benefits of having a forward thinking independent label which is dedicated to the artist like Edition is. It is obvious to me that their focus is on quality and longevity. And to be honest the passion I sense from them is contagious. I’m excited not just about this new record release and reaching out and connecting to more people thru a variety of new (for me) ways but I am just as excited - if not more so - about what’s coming next. Thanks Edition!’

This release marks a significant signing for Edition Records, as label boss Dave Stapleton explains; To be able to work with Jeff on his album is both humbling and hugely exciting. Not only is he regarded as one of the greatest drummers in Jazz, and he's worked with some of the most celebrated players in this music, but he’s both a musician and a man of deep integrity and trust with endless enthusiasm and passion. Edition is a label growing in a very changeable industry; Jeff’s natural tendency to trust, and his desire to work together on building audiences, perfectly fits with our own vision of working with our artists in a very open and collaborative way. We’re incredibly excited to start work on this great music. I’ve no doubt it’s going to be a lot of fun’.

Fairgrounds will be released on 25th January 2019