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Common Ground

Common Ground - Not Enough Space - 1997 - Lolo Records

Not to be confused with the Common Ground Quartet (a Southern California post-bop unit featuring saxophonist Steve Feierabend and pianist Randy Potter), Common Ground is a hard-edged fusion outfit that emerged in Philadelphia in the mid-'90s. At a time when most Philly jazz clubs favored hard bop, Common Ground went for a tough, yet melodic, combination of jazz, rock, and funk along the lines of Scott Henderson's Tribal Tech. With founding members Erik Sayles (electric guitar) and Chris Farr (tenor and soprano sax) co-leading and doing all of the writing, Common Ground recorded their self-titled debut album for TMP in 1995, and employed heavyweights like drummer Dennis Chambers and trumpeter Randy Brecker as guests. Another key player on that promising debut album was keyboardist Dan Zank, who was also on board for Common's second TMP release, Not Enough Space (1997), along with the explosive Chambers. Although neither jazz purists nor so-called smooth jazz radio stations found the CDs to be of interest, Common Ground acquired a small following among hardcore fusion enthusiasts. © Alex Henderson © 2013 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/common-ground-mn0001514562

Philadelphia was full of first-rate hard boppers and post-boppers in the 1990s -- everyone from tenor saxman Larry McKenna and trumpeter John Swana to guitarist Jimmy Bruno -- but fusion and pop-jazz were hard to find in that city. One of the best fusion bands playing Philly and southern New Jersey in the late 1990s was Common Ground, which is in good to excellent form on its second album, Not Enough Space. With core members Chris Farr (tenor and soprano sax) and Erik Sayles (guitar) joined by drummer extraordinaire Dennis Chambers, as well as keyboardist Dan Zank and electric bassist James Genus, the sparks fly. Ground's aggressive blend of jazz, rock and funk often brings to mind Scott Henderson & Tribal Tech, and hard-edged numbers like "Drop Zone" and "Scrub" illustrated the fact that fusion still has a lot of possibilities. Fans of improvisatory, creative fusion (as opposed to radio-oriented "crossover" or "jazzy pop") should make a point of searching for this disc. © Alex Henderson © 2013 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/release/not-enough-space-mr0002310095

Great jazz fusion which blends the improvisational melodicism of the Yellowjackets with the more intense guitar orientated fusion of bands like Tribal Tech. This is not “heavy” jazz fusion in the style of Weather Report and similar bands. Neither is it bland “smooth jazz”, but it is very creative and intelligent jazz fusion music penned by Christopher Farr, Erik Sayles, & Dan Zank. Dennis Chambers plays drums on the album, and if you play drums and/or percussion, this album may give you a few great ideas. In fact all the instrumentation on the album is superb. Check out Common Ground’s s/t album [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 124 Mb]


1 Scrub 5:47
2 Drop Two 5:01
3 Six 7:09
4 Remember 7:31
5 Not Enough Space 6:57
6 Up 6:27
7 West Coast 6:31
8 Drop Zone 5:58

All tracks composed by Christopher Farr, Erik Sayles, & Dan Zank


Erik Sayles - Guitar
James Genus - Bass
Dan Zank - Keyboards, Programming
Dennis Chambers - Drums
Brian Farr - Percussion
Christopher Farr - Soprano & Tenor Saxophone


A.O.O.F.C said...


P/W is aoofc

francisco santos said...

great post...Thank you very much

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,Francisco. You're always welcome, my friend. TVM & TTU soon...Paul