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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jeff Ballard Trio: Time's Tales

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World-class drummer Jeff Ballard (Chick Corea's New Trio, Brad Mehldau Trio) goes above and beyond the call of duty on his first album as a leader. Celebrated for his modern jazz drumming, spanning bop and the outside spectrum, he expands his wares on this eventful trio release by flawlessly engineering a consortium of high-spirited pieces. With Ballard's esteemed associates, saxophonist Miguel Zenon and guitarist Lionel Loueke, they frame the jazz idiom on Afro-Cuban, Caribbean, classical and other stylistic genre-hopping forums. Each composition poses a set of varying array of propositions, whether the trio forges a loose-groove vibe or whips up ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jeff Ballard Trio: Time's Tales

Read "Time's Tales" reviewed by

Drummer Jeff Ballard sure knows how to pick his playmates. In drafting one-of-a-kind guitarist Lionel Loueke and the focused-yet-irrepressible Miguel Zenon on saxophone, Ballard managed to create the most exciting trio to emerge in recent memory. While this album is Ballard's long-awaited leader debut, it's more tempting to dub it a leaderless or leader-heavy date. Yes, Ballard is technically at the helm, but a collective sense of music making is in the air and each man is assertive enough to rival the others. It doesn't matter whether the trio is taking a rhythmically loose and out-of-focus approach ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jeff Ballard Trio: Time's Tales

Read "Time's Tales" reviewed by

For several decades Jeff Ballard has been the first call drummer for a host of contemporary jazz's biggest names, notably pianist Brad Mehldau, with whom Ballard has played since 2005. Of late, however, Ballard has gone it alone. The 2013 debut shows of his quartet Fairgrounds, featuring electronics musician/bassist Reid Anderson, pianist Tigran Hamasyan and guitarist Lionel Loueke suggested Ballard's desire for greater compositional freedom and experimentation. The Jeff Ballard Trio's debut recording, on the other hand, is a fairly uncomplicated affair on the surface, with Loueke and saxophonist Miguel Zenon bringing their prodigious wares to the table on a ...

INTERVIEWS

Jeff Ballard: Paid Dues

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[ Editor's Note: The following interview is reprinted from George Colligan's blog, Jazztruth] I recently did some teaching in the U.K. at the Birmingham Conservatoire; I was the lone guest clinician/guest performer. Last year, roughly around the same time of year, I teamed up with drumming great Jeff Ballard. I had kind of forgotten that I had recorded an interview with him. So it's over a year late, but hopefully my jazztruth readers will forgive me. Jeff Ballard is really what jazz drumming is all about: MUSIC! He really colors and drives the music and the ...

LIVE REVIEWS

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

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Jeff Ballard FairgroundsPavilion TheatreDun Laoghaire, IrelandJuly 10, 2013Fairgrounds is as good a name as any for drummer Jeff Ballard's new band. The best fairgrounds are places that take you away from everyday humdrum and transport you temporarily to an alternative world where fun, the curious and outlandish, and adrenalin rushes are all part of the continuum. Not all the rides and stalls will appeal universally, but on balance who doesn't have a good time at a fairground? Ballard's quartet was playing only its fifth gig, but the lineup of guitarist Lionel Loueke, pianist Tigran Hamasyan ...

INTERVIEWS

Jeff Ballard: A Life In Music

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For some jazz musicians, it seems as though they explode onto the scene virtually from the first day they pick up their instrument, and then proceed to land a huge name gig and the rest is history (or they are, after their 15 minutes). Other musicians spend a lifetime building and honing their craft. One gig leads to the next, one experience preparing them for the following one. Such is the case for master drummer Jeff Ballard.Ballard's gigs have ranged from pianist Chick Corea, bassist Ray Brown, and composer/arranger Maria Schneider to bassists Avishai Cohen and Ben Allison, ...



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