Fairgrounds [Vinyl 1LP]

  • Kod: EDNLP1121
  • Dostępna w magazynie
  • Producent: Edition Records (UK)
  • Wykonawca: Jeff Ballard
  • Nośnik: Vinyl 1LP
  • Instrument lidera: drums
  • Cena: 99,99 zł
  • Poleć produkt

Modern Jazz / Indie Jazz
premiera polska:
kontynent: Ameryka Północna
kraj: USA
opakowanie: kartonowe etui

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Amerykański drummer Jeff Ballard, współpracownik Ray'a Charlesa, Chicka Corea, Pata Metheny'go i Brada Mehldau'a wydaje swoją drugą autorską płytę "Fairgrounds". Ukazuje się ona w barwach cenionej brytyjskiej oficyny Edition Records, która ściąga do siebie coraz to bardziej interesujących muzyków jazzowych. Wystarczy wspomnieć takie nazwy jak Django Bates, Girls in Airports, Julian Arguelles, Kenny Wheeler, Norma Winstone, Keith Tippett, Marius Neset, Mark Lockheart, Oddarrang, Per Oddvar Johansen, Phronesis, Slowly Rolling Camera czy Snowpoet i Tim Garland by docenić pracę jej dyrektora repertuarowego, którym jest pianista Dave Stapleton. Już pod koniec lutego ukazuje się tutaj nowa płyta Chrisa Pottera "Circuits", jednego z najbardziej dzisiaj cenionych jazzowych saksofonistów.

Nowa płyta nagrana została w przebojowym składzie, z udziałem Lionela Loueke (gitara i głos), Kevin Hays (klawisze), Reid Anderson (live electronics), Mark Turner (saksofony), Chris Cheek (saksofony) i Pete Rende (klawisze).

Przez trzynaście lat Jeff Ballard współtworzył Brad Mehldau Trio, jeden z najważniejszych triowych składów w historii jazzu. Kiedy słyszymy Ballarda w tym trio, ale także gdziekolwiek indziej, wiemy, że mamy do czynienia z wyjątkowym perkusistą, zdolnym do tworzenia świeżych, intensywnych form muzycznych, bez względu czy mamy do czynienia z kipiącymi ekspresją i dynamiką kulminacjami czy z delikatnym, czułym drummingiem. Ballard sprawia, że każdy zespół, w którym gra nabiera wiatru w żagle.

Jego drugi autorski album "Fairgrounds" to prawdziwy jazzowy róg obfitości, intrygująca wyprawa w świat bogactwa muzycznych klimatów, muzycznych barw i rozwiązań brzmieniowych. W większości kolektywne kompozycje mają otwartą formę tak, aby każdy z wirtuozów w pełni zaprezentował swój potencjał. Muzycy skrzętnie z tej sposobności korzystają, nigdy jednak nie burzą nastrojowego brzmienia całości.
"Fairgrounds" można słuchać, jako wzorcowego nagrania, poszukującego recepty na współczesny jazz, niepokojący rytmem, pobudzający wyobraźnię, żonglujący różnorodnym brzmieniem zgromadzonych w studio instrumentów. Wielobarwne i wyraziste brzmienie albumu, będące zasługą tego superbandu to jeden z wielu jego atutów. Liczne, intrygujące improwizacje to kolejny, a pieczołowita realizacja, będąca znakiem Edition Records pozwala na iście audiofilski odsłuch.
autor: Mateusz Krępski
Copyright © 1996-2019 Multikulti Project. All rights reserved

"Fairgrounds" ukazuje się na CD i na Vinyl 1LP.

For 13 years Jeff Ballard has been a member of a preeminent jazz ensemble, the Brad Mehldau Trio. When you hear him live, with Mehldau or anyone else, you know you are in the presence of a special drummer, capable of generating fresh, intense forms of energy, even quietly. Ballard improves any band he plays in. Making records as a leader is a different skill set. Fairgrounds, Ballard’s second album under his own name and his debut on the U.K.’s Edition label, is odd and disappointing.

The odd part starts with the instrumentation. Ballard’s band has two keyboard players (Kevin Hays and Pete Rende), Lionel Loueke on guitar, and Reid Anderson, normally a bassist, on “electronics.” The 11 tracks were recorded live on a European tour in 2015, but you wouldn’t know it. Applause has been edited out. Some pieces, like “Grounds Entrance,” are close to ambient music, with shifting, stirring drum patterns and choirs of unspecified treble electronic phenomena. “YEAH PETE!” adds a throb to the ambience and a catchy but clichéd Loueke solo. Many tracks are like “The Man’s Gone”: generic trivial pop-jazz ditties, some with silly vocals. Two fine tenor saxophonists, Chris Cheek and Mark Turner, guest on two numbers each, but they cannot save this album. They are subservient to a mix dominated by electronic artifice. (Cheek does take a pretty solo on “Cherokee Rose.”) Ballard can’t save it either, although the principle that he improves bands still applies: The variety of his grooves is the best thing about Fairgrounds.
By Thomas Conrad

For his debut album as a leader, in-demand drummer Jeff Ballard (Brad Mehldau, Ray Charles, Chick Corea, Sam Yahel) introduced his long-running trio with Lionel Loueke (electric guitar) and Miguel Zenon. Time’s Tales (2014) blew a lot of minds away — including mine – en route to several year-end nods. But Ballard also heads up a quintet, one that further explores the electric side of Ballard; retaining Loueke, this larger band adds two keyboardists (Kevin Hays, Pete Rende) and a guy in charge of the electronic sounds (Reid Anderson).

With Fairgrounds, Ballard moves further away from mainstream jazz and integrates more fully other music forms while keeping himself challenged on the drums. Every track here he tries out something new. For instance, Ballard uses “Grounds Entrance” to advance the notion that hand-made rhythms can not only coexist but thrive with modern electronica. “YEAH PETE!” isn’t as exuberant as the name implies, but Rende’s Rhodes colorings sets the harmonic table and Ballard does some nifty snare work that’s loose while steady in its timekeeping. Organic and synthetic come together on the spare, wafting “I Saw a Movie” and Kraftwerk styled electro establishes the sterile mood of “Marche Exotique,” countered by Loueke’s West African-derived guitar and vocal as well as Ballard’s exotic percussion.

Ballard gives his band mates free rein to take songs to a higher level. Loueke’s singular guitar style comes closer to the fore on “The Man’s Gone,” a wah-wah rhythm delivery that’s so percussive practically an extension of Ballard’s drums. “Hit the Dirt” is the first single spun off this record, featuring the under-appreciated voice of Hays singing the stanzas in a manner akin to Bill Withers and underpinned by the slinky funk from Ballard. “Twelv8” features dissonant sax blasts coming from Ballard’s FLY Trio compadre Mark Turner. “Miro” is at its core a lovely piano ballad that is supplemented by synth touches and Ballard playing to the piano instead of to any time signature. But the peak comes when Loueke step out front to deliver a pretty, penetrating guitar solo.

The collective spirit is often what makes the performance so effective over individual spotlights. “Grungy Brew” is a sweaty workout for the leader, but he alters his tempo over the course of the song in concert with the roiling outbursts of keyboards and Turner on another guest turn at tenor sax. “Soft Rock” feels like a delicate collective jam, summoning the character of early Weather Report. And finally, Ballard metes out a tribal beat for “Cherokee Rose” that’s softened up by Rende’s Rhodes and Chris Cheek’s lead sax.

Jeff Ballard had set even less restrictions on himself and his band for his second album than he did for his first. There’s an oddly compelling mixture of sounds old and new with no set roadmap on how to accomplish it because these live-recorded sessions are so based on feel. But the thing that makes it hardest to easily pin down Fairgrounds is Ballard himself, who never, ever approaches his drums like anyone else would. His eagerness to break rules and set new ones guarantees that this album is going to stand apart.
by S. Victor Aaron

All About Jazz * * * *
The overture to Fairgrounds, "Grounds Entrance," involves an engaging percussive soundscape leading into "Yeah Pete!," which despite its exclamatory title is a laid-back feast of drums, electric piano and guitar on a similar wavelength to Miles Davis' In A Silent Way (Columbia, 1969). But "The Man's Gone" introduces a funky shift with irrepressibly upbeat wah-wah guitar from the redoubtable Lionel Loueke. At nearly three minutes into the song, Loueke's guitar goes nuclear for around half a minute, clearly signalling that he may well be the most intriguing guitarist currently playing in jazz.

Leader Jeff Ballard has been on the scene for years and is probably best known for his work with pianist Brad Mehldau. This is actually Ballard's second album as leader, the first being Time's Tale (Okeh, 2014) and Loueke appeared on that one too alongside alto saxophonist Miguel Zenon. Perhaps the unifying characteristic of Fairgrounds is, paradoxically, the disparate nature of each track. Every number is different, sometimes remarkably so. This is, to some degree, due to seven of the eleven tunes being collective compositions, often sounding spontaneously improvised.

There's some catchy rhythm and blues in the form of Kevin Hays' song "Hit The Dirt," on which his laid-back vocals are interspersed with Chris Cheek's lithe tenor soloing. Ballard's dissonant "Twelve8" offers a different direction yet again and demands instant replays to better absorb its complexity. The trance-like "Marche Exotique" is as exotic as its title suggests, subtly West African in feel. It's enhanced by Loueke's guitar and vocals. Reid Anderson's enticingly sedate "Miro" contains more tasteful guitar interjections and "Soft Rock" has a strangely spacey early-era Pink Floyd quality about it. Cheek's ballad "Cherokee Rose" is distinguished by a semblance of pulsating Native American drum beats combined with a wistful, memorable melody.
By Roger Farbey

Editor's info:
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.

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.
“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 drums, percussion
LIONEL LOUEKE guitar, vocals
KEVIN HAYS piano, keyboards, vocals
REID ANDERSON electronics
PETE RENDE piano, fender rhodes
Guest appearances:
CHRIS CHEEK tenor saxophone (track 5 and 11)
MARK TURNER tenor saxophone (track 6 and 8)

Produced by Jeff Ballard
Executive Producer: Dave Stapleton

A1. Grounds Entrance (Ballard/Loueke/Hays/Anderson/Rende)
A2. Yeah Pete! (Ballard/Loueke/Hays/Anderson/Rende)
A3. Twelv8 (Jeff Ballard)
A4. I Saw A Movie (Ballard/Loueke/Hays/Anderson/Rende)
A5. Hit The Dirt (Kevin Hays)
B1. Marche Exotique (Ballard/Loueke/Hays/Anderson/Rende)
B2. Grungy Brew (Ballard/Loueke/Hays/Anderson/Rende)
B3. Miro (Reid Anderson)
B4. Cherokee Rose (Chris Cheek)

wydano: 2019-01-25
nagrano: 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

more info: www.editionrecords.com
more info2: www.jeffballard.com

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