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 (All Music Guide)