Thursday, 5 April 2012

The Artists - Fertile Ground


OK, I have an admission to make. I like to put myself out there as a font of knowledge on all things new and soulful, but I was late to the Fertile Ground Party. Seeing as the group was founded by James Collins back in '98, I only became aware of them back in 2004, with their last LP "Black is." Shame on me.

Comprising of James, vocalist Navasha Daya, Drummers Marcus Asante and Mark Prince, percussionist Ekendra Das, veteran trumpet player Freddie Dunn and woodwind virtuoso Craig D. Alston, the band wrote soul songs over jazz, funk and world rhythms, often with intelligent and perceptive lyrics.

Collins released the first 2 LP's, "Field Songs" and "Spiritual War" on his own label, Blackout Studios, but were soon picked up by various international labels for distribution, releasing remix  projects, "Seasons Change" and the aforementioned "Black is" selling hundreds of thousands of records.

Touring was a major part of their success, which they continued to do for 4 years follwing the release of their final album. In early 2010, the members of Fertile Ground decided to take a break from touring as a unit and concentrate on individual projects. Mark Prince released his debut album A Fraction of Infinity. Freddie Dunn hit the studio to record for his debut funk/jazz hip hop project and Craig Alston started a unit called the Syndicate. After a decade with the band, lead vocalist Navasha Daya also decided to embark on other career goals and has been doing spot projects with various artists.

When I first heard the band, I was impressed with the live organic sound and musicianship. The melding of jazz and funk and soul and latin and afro sounds. Then the lyrics creep up on you. I hope that alot of you check this mix out and some discover a band that was slept on by the majority, undeservedly, especially when they were top of the class musically.

Grizz back Monday, Ill see you with some new music next week.

The Soul Mixtape Presents - The Artists - Fertile Ground
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