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This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Local Language"

By Mark Jordan
Special to The Commercial Appeal
Friday, June 20, 2008

Local Language
Delta-Jam Records
It's difficult to know where -- or whether -- to draw the line between jam bands and jazz. Most fans of the latter would argue if it ain't got that swing, it ain't got that jazz thing. But as players like John Scofield continue to play around with funkier rhythms and jammers like Medeski, Martin & Wood display growing compositional sophistication, the designations seem more superficial, boiling down to what kind of venues you play and whether the audience wears ties or tie-dyes.

Memphis' Groundspeak is one band that manages effectively to bridge the two worlds. Popular with dancers in Midtown bars, the four-piece has impeccable jazz credentials as proven on their debut release, Local Language.

With keyboardist Gerald Stephens setting an atmospheric groove early on, the band starts off with a couple of straight-ahead fusion numbers, including "Karate Chop Hop," a showcase for guitarist Logan Hanna that he makes the best of. But from there Groundspeak changes things up, throwing in some Scofield-style funk ("Beignet Blues"), a Flamenco-flavored splash of George Winston ("The Heights"), a reggae jam ("Outside Orbits"), and a couple of bluesy pieces with nonjazz vocals ("Slow Creep Sleep" and "Broken Tongue").
If the playing throughout is a little less intense than their live shows, it is never less than engaging, with bassist Andrew Simons and drummer Jesse Williams giving solid, unflashy support. And the different musical looks Groundspeak give us on this outing make for an enjoyable listen no matter what you call it." - Commercial Appeal


Local Language-LP (Delta-Jam Records 2008)



Groundspeak is a jazz fusion band that combines many musical styles. Founded in Memphis in 2005, with a deep desire to make new music. The band’s approach is part improvisational, part Memphis influenced "get down" music. Pulling from many styles (such as jazz, blues, rock, funk, singer-songwriter, and avant garde) while not forgetting about the GROOVE. Groundspeak is signed to Delta-Jam Records, which released their debut album Local Language. The album was produced by Sam Levine at Eclectic Studio in Nashville, Tennessee. Groundspeak remains active on the Memphis live-music scene, having played with acts such as Colonel Bruce Hampton and the Codetalkers, Garaj Mahal, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, the Rebirth Brass Band, and many others. While each writing their own original music for the band, they sometimes take a backing role as THE rhythm section with different local artists looking for an organic vibe