Sunday, August 12, 2018

Groundation - The Next Generation via BACO RECORDS / September 21, 2018

‘The Next Generation’ takes off like a rocket, opening with the first ever reggae big band song, ‘Vanity’ (12 horns). Lyrically and conceptually, the album stems from their previous release ‘A Miracle’, here shifting from the Mother of Creation to the child, ‘The Next Generation.’

The album takes you on a journey from the militant ‘Fossil Fuels’ and ‘Prophets & Profit’, to the subtle and heartfelt ‘New Life’ and ‘Father & Child’ and everywhere in between. The sound quality is impeccable, engineered by the great Jim Fox and recorded all on analog equipment from the 1970s.

Harrison Stafford’s unique reggae fusion can be heard from villages in Thailand, to the favelas of Brazil, from the mountains of New Zealand, to Moroccan cafes and college dorm rooms in the United States. “Groundation provides a musical vessel that allows me to create and perform the music that I hear in my head”. The sound comes in part from Harrison’s early childhood hearing Duke Ellington and Miles Davis from his grandfather and father who were both Jazz performers. He formalized his musical education at Sonoma State University (SSU) completing a degree in Jazz Performance, where he honed his skills for composing, arranging and producing. After completion, Harrison went on to teach The History of Reggae Music at SSU before embarking on his own musical journey. 

Since 1998, Groundation have recorded 8 studio albums and performed in more than 40 countries, sharing the stage with such diverse artists as Jimmy Cliff, Sly and the Family Stone, The Roots, Kanye West, and Sonic Youth. In the past two years alone, Groundation has played shows in nineteen countries spanning four continents. Highlights include playing for over 45,000 fans in Morocco, 10,000 people in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and headlining the mighty SummerJam festival in Germany.

‘The Next Generation’ will stand as a testament that Groundation has reclaimed their position as leaders in the search for new original music and that true to form improvisational Reggae/Jazz experience. 

Carrying on Groundation’s rich history and the high standards, that were set by the musicians before are; Harrison Stafford (lead singer and guitarist), Will Blades (organ and clavinet/keyboard), Isaiah Palmer (bass player), Jake Shandling (drummer), Brady Shammar (harmony vocalist), Aleca Smith (harmony vocalist), Eduardo Gross (guitarist), Craig Berletti (keyboard & trumpet) and Roger Cox (saxophone).