Frank antz | UK | 10/16/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After almost a quarter of a century this album still sets the standard for modern jazz. As fresh and relevant today as it was back then I haven't heard anything that even comes close to replicating its inventive energy.
If you like your jazz funky, with a touch of RnB, Rock and a dash of Salsa step this way. You will never ever forget the riffs laid down by Ford or the nimble keys of Ferrante. A top notch debut album widely respected and revered by musicians in the know, it has been copied but never bettered."
Could hardly get any better.
Torquemada | Atlanta, Georgia USA / Madrid, Spain. | 08/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I will agree with other reviewers here. Jazzy, classic (because of the piano), soulful, gospel (even though there is not a single word said along the album), upbeat, melodic, inspired, uncompromised music (not targeting the American top 40) is what you will find on this album. These people can play and go for it ! It is in fact hard to write a review of this album because of the complexity and diversity of each track, crafted with energy and enthusiasm. The whole thing blends magnificently all along the album, even though it is JAZZ !
I fully agree wit the other reviewers, the guitar play is amazing. It sets the tone and rhythm on "Imperial Strut", "Rush hour", "Priscilla" (just when you were thinking "oh, there goes a pasty song"). Larry Carlton, Steve Lukather, Carlitos Rios, Eddie Gomez or perhaps even Jeff Beck couldn't have done it better.
My favourite here is "It's almost gone". Deep bass even though the piano is in frontline, and a sort of oriental mood for the first 110 seconds. Powerful composition, very intense and deep. Then, bang the drums kick in, the keys overpower the piano and the track picks up and takes you high. Three minutes later, the piano closes the journey with the same melodic sounds it started. This is wonderful music. The closer on my edition, "Top Secret", replaces "Sittin it in", and it is a good trade off. You can't stay still in your chair with this one...
Bravo to the Yellowjackets for this gift and get or keep this one in your collection. If anybody ever asks you who they are, say the truth : one of the bands which showed a different approach to music in the mid seventies/eighties, together with Pat Metheny or Steely Dan, when everything was disco or a "plastic" genre that also became silly with time ("west coast music" with people such as Jack Wagner, Roger Voudouris, Adrian Gurvitz...). Remember that this band has always been sort of unconventional. I haven't listened to all of their releases, but not one of the albums I have from them or heard from them is like another and this one is a gem.
In short, an album that has not aged, that is worth listening to over and over, which is not commercial music and that should be played for more than just "connaisseurs". If you haven't heard anything from these guys, you should like them if you like "AJA" (Steely Dan) and "OFFRAMP" (Pat Metheny)."