Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
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Donna R. (donnaleigh) from DYSART, IA
Reviewed on 6/27/2011...
I love the Yellowjackets anyway, and have most of their newer cd's. This one is my FAVORITE by far! Puts me in a great mood every time I listen to it!!
Where I always return...
Paul Pomeroy | from somewhere left of Maine | 01/30/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I slipped into jazz by way of Steely Dan back in the late '70s. Since then my collection has expanded to include a whole range of artists, from Adderley to Zawinul. But I always return to the Yellowjackets and, in particular, this CD. Why? Here's the short answer to that question: Buy the CD. Put track 1 on. Turn it up LOUD. You can lose yourself in just that one track for days, and then there's track 2 ...And the long answer: this is all pretty subjective, of course, but the reason I like this CD so much has as much to do with what it isn't as what it is. First of all, it isn't some '80s version of '50s jazz or some jazzed up new age [stuff]. Most of the cuts on this CD are what was called "jazz fusion," the fusion of jazz and rock. The only "big success" (in terms of records sold) for jazz fusion is Steely Dan, mostly because they stayed on the "rock" side of the mix (to the extent that much of their music is better categorized as jazz influenced rock). But there were some great (artistically successful) jazz fusion groups back then (Weather Report being one of the best known). Of all of these groups, the Yellowjackets stand out as one that consistently got the spirit (the drive; the intensity) of jazz fusion right.Beginning with their Four Corners CD, the Yellowjackets really got the fusion right (much more jazz than their earlier releases). Compared with their earlier releases, something magical is happening here. As magical as it is, the credit for how great it sounds is due to the incredible mix of talent the 4 members of the group bring to the music. The music is grounded by William Kennedy on the drums, arguably the best jazz drummer of the '80s. On top of the drums is Jimmy Haslip's bass (both 5 string and fretless). Jimmy's style of playing owes much to Jaco Pastorius (the hugely influential bassist for Weather Report who reinvented the art of playing bass). There's no adequate way of describing how great a fretless bass can sound - you just have to listen to someone like Jimmy playing it (try track 7).On top of the drums and bass is Russell Ferrante's piano and keyboard playing. If you want to hear what musicians mean by "fat chords" and "fat sounds," listen to Russell's playing - it's the reason that most of the cuts on this CD sound like there are 10 people playing instead of 4. Russell, who wrote or co-wrote most of the tracks on this CD has an incredible range, from gospel phrasing to syncopated African rhythms, and is equally adept at slow, achingly beautiful melodies as he is at lightening fast, jack-hammered runs. On top of all of it is Mark Russo's saxophone. When this guy gets going it's incredible - he gets an unbelievable amount of emotional mileage out of a saxophone without ever approaching the egotistical, plastic passion of players like Kenny G[ag]. Mark's range is just as impressive as Russell's - from flat out wailing (in track 2, for example) to the incredibly tender longing expressed in the melody of track 4."
blender | 02/29/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is undoubtedly my favorite jazz-fusion CD of all time. From the upbeat Mile High / Wildlife tracks to the soaring, haunting melody of Open Road (what a great melody - always makes me think of a girl from Brussels, Belgium, that I dated for about 3 months while she was here in the Exchange Student program). This CD will turn even the bleakest rainy day into a rainbow-filled, sunny day.Four Corners does exactly that - traverses the world and back with imaginative melodies and beautiful solos.Peace Out."