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The Yellowjackets: The Paris Concert | DVD Reviews With Tim Seisser

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The New Morning Jazz Club in Paris is becoming a very popular place to shoot a live performance DVD. TheYellowjackets new live DVD, “Yellowjackets: The Paris Concert”, is the third I have seen shot at The New Morning (the other two being Mike Stern concerts) and it leaves no question as to why musicians love performing at this club. The venue is always packed with a respectful, yet energetic audience. The sound and lighting are top notch, which not only makes it great for the musicians, but also makes it great for the DVD production team. This DVD features the classic Yellowjackets lineup of Bob Minzter, Russell Ferrante, Jimmy Haslip and the new drummer Marcus Baylor replacing long time drummer Will Kennedy. At first I was a little disappointed to see the cover and find Will Kennedy missing. However, right from the get go, it is apparent that Marcus is more than competent to fill the drum chair in this legendary fusion band. The song selection reads like a greatest hits album, with material from almost all of the band’s C.D.’s. Highlights include Jimmy’s melodic interplay and soulful grooves on “Capetown”, solid walking lines on “Bop Boy”, huge pocket on “Cross Current”, “With These Hands” and “Freedomland”, burning unison lines on “Downtown” and excellent trading with Marcus on the closer “Evening News”. The band covers a lot of musical territory in this concert, which is to be expected from the Yellowjackets. Only thru years of playing experience (over 25 years, 20 albums and 14 grammy nominations) can you develop the stylistic elasticity and high level of interplay that the Yellowjackets posses. The DVD features a nice bonus section of Jimmy Haslip narrating a brief history of the band, as well as some soundcheck footage. Unfortunately, the song listing is incorrect on the back of the DVD case. Other than that, this is a fantastic DVD and a wonderful way to catch a live performance of this legendary band without having to leave the house.

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