SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews

Yellowjackets – Altered State – Heads Up


Published on May 24, 2005

Yellowjackets – Altered State – Heads Up
Yellowjackets – Altered State – Heads Up multichannel SACD HUSA 9097 ****:

An original cover by artist Peter Max adorns the latest in a long
series of albums from this creative quartet.They began life as the
session band for guitarist Robben Ford in the late ‘70s. Over the years
they have changed and developed thru many variations upon a basic jazz
fusion style – blues, R&B, world music, Afro-Cuban, acoustic.
Experimenting with tradition has been Yellowjackets’ thing all along.
Now made up of leading reedman and big band leader Bob Mintzer,
keyboardist Russell Ferrante, electric bassist Jimmy Haslip and drummer
Marcus Baylor, Yellowjackets are playing with offbeat meters and
rhythms plus unusual melodies in this album. The first track is 15
beats to the bar, for example. There are vocals this time, one from
Jean Baylor, even with backup singers. All 11 tracks are original tunes
by members of the band, with one involved three of them together. The
dynamic groove of this band has always been a kick, and with the
terrific surround playback it’s a kick and a half!

Tracks: Suite 15, March Majestic, The Hope, Hunter’s Point, Mother
Earth, Youth Eternal, Free Day, Cross Current, Aha, 57 Chevy, Unity.

- John Henry




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