125

Common Ground: "not enough space"

Ed Kopp By

Sign in to view read count
Common Ground: "not enough space" 1/2

Two listens and I became hooked on Common Ground, a clever fusion duo consisting of saxophonist Chris Farr from Philadelphia and guitarist Erik Sayles of Connecticut. This is the pair's second release, and it also features monster drummer Dennis Chambers, talented bassist James Genus, keyboardist Dan Zank, and percussionist Brian Farr.

Chris Farr and Erik Sayles weren't aiming for snooze-jazz radio with this one, because "not enough space" combines the guitar-driven intensity of Tribal Tech with the improvisational melodicism of the Yellowjackets. These six musicians play with a great deal of rhythmic fervor and jazzy intelligence on this 52-minute CD. It doesn't hurt that Genus and Chambers are masters of the fusion genre, and they're really at the top of their game here.

All eight tracks are solid. "Scrub" sounds like a funky Mike Stern composition, and it showcases some neat soloing from both Farr and Sayles. "Six" is remindful of the Yellowjackets, right down to its trumpet-like synth. Farr provides a serpentine soprano solo on the title track, which is also a great forum for Chambers' awesome skin work. "Up" starts out with some boppish riffing, then it turns along varying tempos while offering cool solos from Sayles and Zank. Sayles' playing is loud and contortedly bluesy — he's sort of a cross between Mike Stern and Allan Holdsworth — while Farr's tenor brings to mind Michael Brecker. He sounds even better on soprano.

It might take a few listens before "not enough space" completely wins you over, but it's well worth the effort. You won't hear many new


Title: "not enough space" | Year Released: 1998 | Record Label: Lolo Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Such A Sky CD/LP/Track Review Such A Sky
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31 CD/LP/Track Review Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 25, 2017
Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Hallways CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "It Will Come" CD/LP/Track Review It Will Come
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 16, 2017
Read "King For A Day" CD/LP/Track Review King For A Day
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 3, 2017
Read "This Is Nate Najar" CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "The Eighth Hour Of Amduat" CD/LP/Track Review The Eighth Hour Of Amduat
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 9, 2017
Read "Poetry For The Beat Generation" CD/LP/Track Review Poetry For The Beat Generation
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: December 11, 2016
Read "Scott Hamilton / Harry Allen: live!" CD/LP/Track Review Scott Hamilton / Harry Allen: live!
by Edward Blanco
Published: August 9, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.