Fertile Ground: Seasons Change (2002)
Fertile Ground is a grooveable-high of a laid back funky music outing. Swirling retro keyboards, with earthy variant rhythms, chilling with Africanized islander horn lines and their corresponding non-electronic punches, adding a well bassed bottom, delectably proffer a high-grade melodic and harmonic sensorial buttress.
This gentle sizzling group is the type that would engage an audience leaving them raising their arms up with their smiling faces facing down, or perhaps up, while swinging from side to side, twirling and just getting coolly down to their music. Some, indubitably, with glow sticks in their hands and others with lollipops or baby suckers in their mouth while everyone is surrounded by musky feel good clean smoke. Yeah, good times and good energies with Fertile Ground while planting their own take on themselves, and us all, with dashes of lyrical wisdom to spare and share. Seasons indeed change, the fertility of this musical ground, however, remains.
A number of feelings, experiences, territories and reflections are explored through this Counterpoint Records release. Romance is there, so is reason and good ol’ exhortation. Vibrations for fun are at the base, though. Hipsting and Hoping, through various ethnic venues and resources, this group manages to seize on its size and grow within, while feeling larger than their actual numbers. Fertile Ground simply satisfies heart and brain.
The repertoire is musically sharp, generous and somewhat memetic if not in outright content, at the very least, it is so in feel. Akin to a DJ’s view, some times it even sounds like a humanized version of a cool spinner, which is quite cool in itself. Arranging their framework, within the compositions of James Collins, the inner pulsating dynamic of this sextet ebbs you on into digging the jaunt.
Fertile Ground is jazzy, soulful, and diggable, with unrefined worldly sophistication, as their singer exemplifies and the band executes.
Track Listing: 1. Rise 2. Freedom 3. Seasons Change 4. The Moment 5. Like Poetry 6. Dance 7. Culture Bandits 8. Illumination 9. One Mo Gin 10. 6/8 11. More 2 Life 12. Drive 13. Take Me Higher 14. Come to Me 15. I Remember You 16. Star People
Personnel: Drums: Marcus Asante. Keyboards/Composer: James Collins. Percussion: Ekendra Das. Tenor Saxophone: Craig Alston. Trumpet: Fred Dunn. Vocal: Navasha Daya.