A standing ovation greeted the end of the set, and although no encore was forthcomingtoo often crowds believe an encore is an automatic right, as opposed to a gift rewarding clamornobody 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 to Chick Corea, Pat Metheny and Brad Mehldau. 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.
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good. I was 16 at the time. I went to Tower Records and purchased a CD by Wes, and I was hooked from the very first ten seconds. The sound of the song Lolita illuminated my bedroom, as I just sat back amazed at how colorful and soulful this music was--I understood it, even though at the time I didn't understand how to go about playing it. I get chills listening to Wes' solo on Lolita, and I can still listen to that song ten times in a row and never get tired of it. There is a truly timeless quality to genuinely spontaneous jazz music, and it is that quality that has inspired me to devote my life to studying and playing this music.