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
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.
LIONEL LOUEKE guitar, vocals
KEVIN HAYS piano, keyboards, vocals
REID ANDERSON electronics
PETE RENDE piano, fender rhodes
CHRIS CHEEK tenor saxophone (track 5 and 11)
MARK TURNER tenor saxophone (track 6 and 8)
All songs written and arranged by Fairgrounds
Hit The Dirt by Kevin Hays
Miro by Reid Anderson
Cherokee Rose by Chris Cheek
1. Grounds Entrance
2. YEAH PETE!
3. The Man's Gone 03:56
4. I Saw A Movie
5. Hit The DIrt
7. Marche Exotique
8. Grungy Brew
10. Soft Rock
11. Cherokee Rose
Recorded live between March 1 and 20, 2015 while on tour in Europe (Amsterdam, Berlin, Dublin, Munich, Molde, Odense, Paris, Rome, Tours, Terrassa, Vienna, Zurich)
Mixed by Pete Rende
Mastered by Nate Wood