Released in May of 2006, “25” is a celebration of 25 years of the “Yellowjackets”. This live CD/DVD combo package is perfect proof of just why the this band has endured. Simply put, this is an incredible album. Comprised of two shows from a European tour, the recording quality rivals that of any studio but, more importantly, the playing is just beautiful. The interplay between Marcus Baylor (the newest addition, having replaced Will Kennedy in 2000) and Jimmy Haslip is a wonder to behold. The grooves are elastic but the pocket is deep and tight. These guys lay it down as nobody else could (and both Marcus and Jimmy take some other-worldly solos!). In addition, both Bob Mintzer and Russell Ferrante are quite literally two of the best in the biz. The playing just could not be any better. One song into the live DVD and I couldn’t be pulled away until it had ended. I discovered the Yellowjackets late in life and had not been totally hooked until getting these discs in the mail. I’ve been a fan of each of these guys for different reasons and because of different projects, but this is (in my opinion) the best I’ve heard from the Yellowjackets. If you’re a YJ fan, you absolutely can’t go wrong or, If you’re like me and respect the band but haven’t really dug into the music very deeply… get this and get down with your new favorite band!
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