timeline (Mack Avenue 2011)
12 de abril de 2014 § Deja un comentario
YELLOWJACKETS… mi grupo favorito en activo, de jazz fusion: Rusell Ferrante, Jimmy Haslip, Bob Mintzer y Marcus Baylor. Fueron originalmente banda del guitarrista Robben Ford (Ferrante y Haslip) y comenzaron su andadura con un trabajo así titulado y unos músicos tremendos: Ricky Lawson, Lenny Castro, Paulino Da Costa, Bobby Lyle, Jerry Hey, Ernie Watts y Robben Ford por supuesto! Después siempre bien acompañados por saxos de altura aunq sin integración en el ADN del grupo hasta la llegada de Bob Mintzer… su música me acompaña en todos mi viajes en automóvil y activa diferentes modelos de recuerdo entrañable. Espero con anhelo y curiosidad adolescente su nuevo disco igual q lo hago con John Scofield, Brad Melhdau, Joshua Redman, Paolo Fresu o Richard Galliano.
Yellowjackets son buenos.. y más buenos en directo, en las distancias cortas donde se reconoce a los grandes. Me gusta muy especialmente su disco “Live Wires” (William Kennedy a la batería) grabado at The Roxy, Los Angeles, CA los días 15 y 16N del ’91… con Michael Franks, Take 6, Brenda Russell & Marilyn Scott, Paulino Da Costa, Steve Croes y Vince Mendoza. Otro discazo del mismo año con Mintzer como invitado fue “Greenhouse“… con una orquesta de 27 miembros detrás y acompañados por Alex Acuña, Steve Croes, Bill Bable, Judd Miller y Stuart Conin. Muy recomendado!
The Yellowjackets made a splash with their first record, an accessible mixture of jazz, rock, and funk bearing the unmistakable mark of the L.A. session scene that spawned them. In fact, The Yellowjackets had their roots in the sessions for Robben Ford‘s 1979 album The Inside Story. Russell Ferrante, Jimmy Haslip, and Ricky Lawson all appeared on that album and reenlisted Ford‘s help for their own debut, with the guitarist’s fluid soloing often taking the lead role. As fun an album as it is — and there are times when the melodies rise to a joyful exuberance that recallsWeather Report‘s “Birdland” — Yellowjackets isn’t a true fusion record. Ricky Lawson provides rock beats to the material, Haslip‘s bass work is as funky as it is jazzy, and the arrangements tend to stick with the same groove (as ingratiating as they may be) rather than explore the musical themes like an esoteric jazz band might. The opening “Matinee Idol” is as much the Jackson 5 (one of Lawson‘s previous gigs) as fusion, “Rush Hour” is jazzy in a Steely Dan sense, while “Sittin’ in It” actually borrows from the old funk classic “For the Love of Money.” There are some nice, chunky grooves that give the album a sense of substance (“The Hornet,” “Imperial Strut”), a wistful track in “It’s Almost Gone,” and a neat melody tucked into “Priscilla,” all of which contribute to the album’s charm. But compared to their GRP recordings, The Yellowjackets‘ debut does seem a little one-dimensional. If you enjoy the smooth, guitar-led jazz from this period (e.g., Earl Klugh, Lee Ritenour), Yellowjackets is worth checking out, both for the upbeat melodies and Ford‘s seemingly effortless solos (all music.com).
Although sometimes grouped with Spyro Gyra, Yellowjackets are actually one of the most creative regular groups in the “rhythm & jazz” genre. Founded in 1981 as an R&B-oriented band that starred guitarist Robben Ford, the group took a giant step forward when, after Ford‘s departure, altoist Marc Russo took his place. With original members Russell Ferrante on keyboards and electric bassist Jimmy Haslip, in addition to drummer William Kennedy, the band found its own R&B-ish sound, sometimes playing original compositions that sounded like Joe Zawinul at his most melodic. Starting out on Warner Bros. in the early ’80s, Yellowjackets moved to MCA/GRP in 1986, where they released a string of well-received albums. In the ’90s, Russochose to go out on his own, and his replacement, Bob Mintzer (on tenor and bass clarinet), added more jazz credibility to the group’s music. They moved back to Warner Bros. in 1995 for several albums before moving to the Heads Up label for the live two-CD set Mint Jam in 2002. Their first studio album in five years, Time Squared, was released in 2003. Three years later, the band celebrated its 25th anniversary as an ensemble with the release of the live album Twenty Five. The studio album Lifecycle followed in 2008. In 2011, the band marked its 30th year with the release of Timeline on Mack Avenue. In 2013 the band released A Rise in the Road, their first album to showcase new bassist Felix Pastorius (son of Jaco). Trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire also guested on three tracks.
… un poco de historia fotográfica