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Yellowjackets: What's In a Name?

By Published: February 6, 2007

AAJ: You've explored, for want of a better term, "world music, most notably on Four Corners (MCA, 1987); are there any specific styles of music that you would like to explore and maybe incorporate into future Yellowjackets albums?

RF: There are so many different folk traditions that it would be hard to pinpoint one. I actually have a lot of interest in early American musical traditions like Steven Foster songs, civil war songs, spirituals etc. that I'd love to further explore.

AAJ: On a personal level, you toured with Joni Mitchell in 1983. What kind of experience was that? How do you rate her as a singer?

RF: The time I spent working with Joni was thoroughly enjoyable. I've always loved her music. She was open to our suggestions about shaping her music and she loved to hang out with the band! Joni is a true artist. She was incredibly tuned in to everything around her. Nothing escaped her powers of observation. She was wholly committed to realizing her artistic vision. It was inspiring and instructive to have spent time with her.

I recently heard a live recording from one of our live shows from London; Joni's singing was amazing! Her phrasing and pitch was stellar. In this age of "computer-assisted vocals, I was reminded of what a truly gifted singer she was.

AAJ: What does 2007 and beyond hold for the Yellowjackets?

RF: I think we're yearning to make a more radical shift. We're setting aside some time this year to brainstorm together and see if we can unearth some seeds that might take us in a new and exciting direction. Wish us luck!

Selected Discography:

Yellowjackets, Twenty Five (Heads Up International, 2006)
Yellopwjackets, Altered State (Heads Up International, 2005)
Yellowjackets, Peace Round: A Christmas Celebration (Heads Up International, 2003)
Yellowjackets, Time Squared (Heads Up International, 2003)
Yellowjackets, Mint Jam (Yellowjackets Ent., 2001)
Yellowjackets, Best of Yellowjackets (Warner Brothers, 1999)
Yellowjackets, Club Nocturne (Warner Brothers, 1998)
Yellowjackets, Blue Hats (Warner Brothers, 1997)
Yellowjackets, Dreamland (Warner Brothers, 1995)
Yellowjackets, Collection (GRP, 1995)
Yellowjackets, Run for your Life (GRP, 1994)
Yellowjackets, Like a River (GRP, 1993)
Yellowjackets Live Wires (GRP, 1992)
Yellowjackets Greenhouse (GRP, 1991)
Yellowjackets The Spin (MCA, 1989)
Yellowjackets Politics (MCA, 1988)
Yellowjackets Four Corners (MCA, 1987)
Yellowjackets Shades (MCA, 1986)
Yellowjackets Samurai Samba (Waner Brothers, 1985)
Yellowjackets Mirage a Trois (Warner Brothers, 1983)
Yellowjackets Yellowjackets (Warner Brothers, 1981)

Photo Credits
Photo of Ferrante: Courtesy of West Valley Jazz
Yellowjackets Photo: Courtesy of Heads Up International

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