Jeff Ballard Fairgrounds: Dun Laoghaire, Ireland, July 10, 2013

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A standing ovation greeted the end of the set, and although no encore was forthcoming—too often crowds believe an encore is an automatic right, as opposed to a gift rewarding clamor—nobody was complaining.

For twenty plus years Ballard has been a little in the shadows of the giants for whom he has kept time, from Ray Charles
Ray Charles
Ray Charles
1930 - 2004
piano
to Chick Corea
Chick Corea
Chick Corea
b.1941
piano
, Pat Metheny
Pat Metheny
Pat Metheny
b.1954
guitar
and Brad Mehldau
Brad Mehldau
Brad Mehldau
b.1970
piano
. Maybe now his moment has arrived to step out as a leader and Fairgrounds could well be the perfect vehicle. If the quartet sounds this good after just a handful of gigs, it's exciting to imagine where it might be a year or two down the line.

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