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Yellowjackets: Timeline

Track List

>Why is It
>Single Step, A
>Like Elvin
>My Soliloquy
>I Do

Album Remarks & Appraisals:

"The signature sound is still intact—one that helped to define the better qualities of contemporary jazz—music that is artistic, played to the hilt, and yet remains accessible to wider audiences. Whether pumping up the groove in Mintzer's "Tenacity," laying down a chamber music vibe in Ferrante's "Indivisible," or paying respect to the great Elvin Jones with guest trumpeter John Daversa in "Like Elvin." The set showcases the band's depth and insightful nature... after thirty years, the 'Jackets have accomplished the damn-near impossible, by staying together and continuing to deliver good music." -All About Jazz

"Essentially, Timeline is an enjoyable effort and a must-have for fans of the Yellowjackets. While the argument that ‘there is nothing new in jazz’ may rear its ugly head, Timeline exhibits a veteran group who are still trying to ‘push the envelope’ and are still performing at a high level together. Sure, the Yellowjackets’ peak may have passed, but they still have years and years of great jazz in their arsenal. The evidence? Timeline, ladies and gentlemen." -The Urban Music Scene

Timeline marks the 30th anniversary of Yellowjackets, who welcome alumnus Will Kennedy - the incredibly dynamic drummer who has appeared on about half of the electro-acoustic band's discography to date - back into the fold after a dozen years. An 11-song set of new material mostly penned by saxophonist Bob Mintzer and keyboardist Russell Ferrante, it's also the first step in Yellowjackets' new relationship with the Mack Avenue label. Chops-wise, reunited members Mintzer, Ferrante, bassist Jimmy Haslip and Kennedy are in top form, their music propulsive, grooving, snaky, syncopated and at times surprisingly delicate. Guitarist Robben Ford, another strong historical linkage in Yellowjackets history, makes a wah-wah-fueled cameo appearance on one track. Taken as a whole, Timeline comes across as highly cohesive, melodically accessible and harmonically adventurous, in keeping with the group's underlying concept over the last three decades." -Downbeat

Album Reviews:

JazzTimes (p.87) - "While TIMELINE offers a surplus of down-shifted tempos, it opens with the caffeinated jolt of Mintzer's 'Why Is It,' Kennedy's funk punch driving a dizzying theme..."

Album Notes

Personnel: Bob Mintzer (bass clarinet, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone); Russell Ferrante (piano, keyboards); Will Kennedy (keyboards, drums).

Audio Mixer: Rich Breen .

Liner Note Authors: Russ Davis ; Gretchen Valade.

Recording information: Firehouse Recording Studios.

Photographer: Raj Naik.

Contemporary jazz ensemble Yellowjackets' 2011 Mack Avenue debut, Timeline features the band's longstanding knack for straddling the line between smooth jazz and more cerebral post-bop stuff. Marking the group's 30 years in the business, the album is a perfect mix of low-key, soulful moments and more funky, angular jazz. In that sense, it's a perfect balance of what the band has done throughout its career. Showcased here are members saxophonist Bob Mintzer, keyboardist Russell Ferrante, bassist Jimmy Haslip, and drummer Will Kennedy, as well as guests guitarist Robben Ford and trumpeter John Daversa. Ultimately, with tracks like the disarmingly knotty opener "Why Is It," the expansive "Tenacity," and the ruminative R&B-infused title track, Timeline reveals Yellowjackets as a band in a seemingly reinvigorated and creative state of mind. Not a bad place to be at 30. ~ Matt Collar


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