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.