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Blue Hats
Blue Hats
Genre: Jazz
  •  Track Listings (9) - Disc #1



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CD Details

All Artists: Yellowjackets
Title: Blue Hats
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 4
Label: Wea
Original Release Date: 2/11/1997
Re-Release Date: 3/18/2010
Genre: Jazz
Styles: Jazz Fusion, Modern Postbebop, Smooth Jazz
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 093624633327


Album Description

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CD Reviews

Worth every moment of listening time.
Peter Oberg ( | Western Washington, USA | 06/14/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)

"In typical yellowjackets fashion, Blue Hats takes the listener on a surprise journey of what seems like mainstream pop/jazz, but what is really much more well-crafted than the usual fare. The album mixes relatively easy-listening tunes with a few hard-driving ones where both Ferrante and Mintzer are able to branch out. Russel Ferrante's piano improvisations are at once sparse and lucid-his use of space allows his melodic genius to be appreciated by the attentive listener. Bob Mintzer is a marvelously talented reed man. His playing ranges from the mellowest of tones in a ballad-like setting to the power and intensity of his tenor and bass clarinet improvisations, showcasing his dynamic range and harmonic cleverness. Kennedy and Haslip are two talented players that create the undercurrent without which the group could not shine. Just when you think Yellowjackets have gone to a cheezy commercial sound, they completely surprise you with a power piece in the tradition of Coltrane or McCoy Tyner. For diversity of musical ideas, Yellowjackets continue to delight not just with the first listening, but with repeated ones when one hears more and different aspects of their total sound. Blue Hats is a very tight and not over-produced album, and though their style must fit under the jazz umbrella, it is really much broader and more diverse in its musicality, making Yellowjackets a more creative and eclectic group than most can appreciate."
Blue Hat motif fits Yellowjackets quite well.
NDBx | New York, NY United States | 11/07/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is the best Yellowjacket recording in years. The best since "Live Wires". Bob Mintzer, William Kennedy and Russell Ferrante show their instrumental muscles. This is not, I REPEAT not smooth jazz to which this band has unfortunately been associated with. Largely an inaccurate depiction. Here they are firmly steeped in jazz. The mood adult. The pieces save for one, expansive. The ballads are all dark, rich, filled with an emotional maturity and poignancy. There's a sense of longing on these ballads. William Kennedy is a propulsive dynamo on the "up" pieces in this recording. This recording would do much toward eliminating the aforementioned association with smooth jazz. All are fine instrumentalists and it shows here. There is really no coasting at all in this recording. No lush string arrangments or over production. Just a group at the height of it's powers. Bob Mintzer has been welcome change over the more pop based Marc Russo. He has a broad aural range, big bodied tone and a fine improvisational sense. Russell Ferrante shines on acoustic piano. Jimmy Haslip is his usual strong self here. His bass sings when it has to or settles back into "the pocket". If you've missed the last few recordings because you felt that the quality had fallen off, this is the one to pick up because the group is back in fine form."
One of their best!
jazluvr | Redondo Beach, CA USA | 12/22/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Blue Hats is one of the better productions by the Yellowjackets. I think the mix of musicians in the group had reached a peak in creativity with this album and the one that followed. William Kennedy, the drummer, is a particular standout, especially on tunes like Capetown. I saw William at a drummer workshop and spoke to him regarding this tune. His intricate drumming really paints a backdrop for the tune that hides the rhythm and makes it difficult to count....Personally I was intrigued.Another fine production by my favorite Yellowjackets team."