Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

261

Chicago Yestet: Jazz Is Politics?

Alex Marianyi By

Sign in to view read count
For an introduction to the Chicago jazz scene, look no further than the Chicago Yestet's line-up on Jazz Is Politics?. From drummer Dana Hall (Terell Stafford) to John Wojciechowski, a finalist in the 1996 Thelonious Monk Saxophone Competition, the roster reads like a who's who in Midwestern jazz.

Staying true to the album's namesake, the Yestet opens with the "The Decider," a track featuring audio clips from former President George W. Bush speech, famously giving himself the same title. The lyrical styling of emcee Rob Dz here, and elsewhere in the set again nods at the album title by borrowing a main component of one of the most politically debated styles of music. Bandleader/trombonist Joel Adams includes his arrangement of the church hymn "Holy, Holy, Holy," referencing yet another heated topic on the American political scene.

Adams' pen shows a lack of fear, as the album's overall stylistic spectrum goes from classical horn chorales on "Holy, Holy, Holy," and Thad Jones-style big band writing on "Solace," to the hip-hop groove behind emcee Rob Dz on "Domestic Tranquility." The trombonist's lengthy arrangements might be off-putting, as each extends beyond seven minutes; fortunately, his placement of soloists on the album creates a much-needed variety to keep it interesting. Pianist Dan Trudell's improvisations elevate "The Decider" and "Yo-Yo" in ways that written parts could not, and the same is true of guitarist Jeff Parker's solo work on "Domestic Tranquility" and "Peace Dance." In fact, "Holy, Holy, Holy" takes on a life of its own when the entire band freely improvises to close out the solo section.

Having an all-star team of musicians from the Chicago jazz scene would do the band no good were it not for Adams' tastefully intriguing compositions and arrangements. When the Chicago Yestet asks Jazz Is Politics? it seems the only answer is: yes.

Track Listing: The Decider; Yo-Yo; Solace; Domestic Tranquility; Holy, Holy, Holy; Ethnicity; Peace Dance.

Personnel: Joel Adams: composer, arranger, and trombone; Rob Dz: vocals and lyrics; Pat Mallinger: alto and tenor saxophone; Scott Burns: tenor saxophone; John Wojciechowski: tenor saxophone and bass clarinet; Victor Garcia: trumpet and flugelhorn; Tito Carillo: trumpet and flugelhorn; Tom Garling: trombone; Dan Trudell: piano; Jeff Parker: guitar (1, 4, 7); Clark Sommers: bass; Dana Hall: drums.

Title: Jazz Is Politics? | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House CD/LP/Track Review Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 21, 2018
Read Journey to a New World CD/LP/Track Review Journey to a New World
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 21, 2018
Read Disappeared Behind the Sun CD/LP/Track Review Disappeared Behind the Sun
by John Sharpe
Published: January 21, 2018
Read 2018 Neujahrskonzert New Year’s Concert CD/LP/Track Review 2018 Neujahrskonzert New Year’s Concert
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 21, 2018
Read Lux CD/LP/Track Review Lux
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 20, 2018
Read Unleashed CD/LP/Track Review Unleashed
by John Sharpe
Published: January 20, 2018
Read "Live at Barbes: Slavic Soul Party Plays Duke Ellington's Far East Suite" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Barbes: Slavic Soul Party Plays Duke...
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: March 21, 2017
Read "Crystal Machine" CD/LP/Track Review Crystal Machine
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 23, 2017
Read "Automatic For The People - 25th Anniversary Edition" CD/LP/Track Review Automatic For The People - 25th Anniversary Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: November 12, 2017
Read "Beyond the Moon" CD/LP/Track Review Beyond the Moon
by Tyran Grillo
Published: August 12, 2017
Read "Leap of Faith Orchestra - Possible Universes" CD/LP/Track Review Leap of Faith Orchestra - Possible Universes
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 1, 2017
Read "Like, Strange" CD/LP/Track Review Like, Strange
by Troy Collins
Published: April 5, 2017