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ALBUM REVIEWS

Yellowjackets: Raising Our Voice

Read "Raising Our Voice" reviewed by Chris Mosey

Named after a rather unpleasant insect, founded by a guitar superstar to back him but then dropped, the Los Angeles-based Yellowjackets--despite it all--continue to forge ahead. There's something of the MJQ about them: they dress well (if casually) and play a brand of jazz that is discreet and refined, sometimes almost to the point of becoming background music. Of the musicians picked as a backing group by Robben Ford in 1977, only Russell Ferrante (keyboards) remains. Now ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Yellowjackets: A Rise in the Road

Read "A Rise in the Road" reviewed by Ian Patterson

With the departure of bassist Jimmy Haslip in 2012, pianist Russell Ferrante is the sole original member, more than three decades after the band's debut recording Yellowjackets (Warner Bros, 1981) set the ball rolling. That said, saxophonist Bob Mintzer has been onboard 22 years and drummer Will Kennedy 14. Not for nothing does the twenty second studio recording sound every bit a Yellowjackets offering--and a fine one at that. New bassist Felix Pastorius has been touring with the band for ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Yellowjackets: Timeline

Read "Timeline" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Timeline is Yellowjackets' 21st album, in a career spanning 30 years--an impressive return, and an indication of the group's enduring appeal and continued motivation and commitment to making music. As ever, there are signs of evolution, with the addition of trumpet widening the sonic palette. However, pianist/keyboardist Russell Ferrante's sparing use of synthesizer-- which has given an orchestral depth to much of the group's music over the years--and saxophonist Bob Mintzer's switch from EWI to bass clarinet, steers the music ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Yellowjackets: Timeline

Read "Timeline" reviewed by Mark F. Turner

To have worked thirty years in the business is exceptional for any band, especially in jazz. But since 1981, pianist/keyboardist Russell Ferrante and bassist Jimmy Haslip have maintained the award-winning Yellowjackets--from that year's eponymous Warner Bros. debut, with its infectious blend of fusion and funk, featuring guitarist Robben Ford, and the incorporation of jazz and strings in Greenhouse (GRP, 1991), with multi-reed master Bob Mintzer, to the twentieth anniversary double-CD Mint Jam (Yellowjackets Ent., 2001)--and the group's beat, in its ...

FILM REVIEWS

Yellowjackets: New Morning - The Paris Concert

Read "Yellowjackets: New Morning - The Paris Concert" reviewed by John Kelman

YellowjacketsNew Morning - The Paris Concert Heads Up International2009A group that has, on occasion, ventured along the fine line between contemporary jazz and that of the smoother variety, Yellowjackets has always been a performing band. Now approaching its 30th anniversary as a collective, it's the group's eighth year with a consistent line-up that includes, in addition to co-founders Russell Ferrante (keyboards) and Jimmy Haslip (bass), long-timer Bob Mintzer (saxophone and EWI - ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Yellowjackets with Mike Stern: Lifecycle

Read "Lifecycle" reviewed by Woodrow Wilkins

For the better part of three decades, Yellowjackets have insisted and persisted on doing things their own way and by themselves. So it's fitting that when they deviate from their normal approach and bring in guitarist Mike Stern, the resulting project is titled Lifecycle. The first Yellowjackets recording in fifteen years to feature a guitarist, Lifecycle brings together two powerhouses in modern music. The quartet of Russell Ferrante, Jimmy Haslip, Bob Mintzer and Marcus Baylor has stood the ...

INTERVIEWS

Yellowjackets: What's In a Name?

Read "Yellowjackets: What's In a Name?" reviewed by Ian Patterson

2006 marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Yellowjackets. It has been a quarter of a century of continuous evolution, both musically and in terms of changes in band personnel.

From their R&B beginnings with guitarist Robben Ford in '81 right through to the sophisticated and utterly distinctive brand of jazz that they play today, the Yellowjackets have moved with the times, absorbing different aspects of world music and adding new rhythms and influences to the pot. ...


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