It’s the 30th anniversary for Yellowjackets…a milestone in itself. They’ve had 17 Grammy nominations, and after listening to Timeline, I’m sure another one is on the way. Ferrante and Mintzer’s latest compositions brim with harmonic integrity and create a rich platform for all of these virtuosos to make their musical statements, a mainstay for sure in this bands evolution.
Haslip made the comment that the band’s focus is to continue to do something that is hopefully engaging, and followed with “It’s not easy to accomplish this after 30 years.” But in this man’s opinion, the challenge has been met, and conquered. Beyond enjoying the first listen to this CD, a second listen yet heightened my appreciation of this bands musical maturity and ease of performance of the compositions…i.e.….Damn, they’re not in 4/4 on this track, their in 15/8…very slick.
Improvisationally, there are simply no weak points in this band, but more importantly, the marriage of improve to the composition seems to never get in the way of the overall enjoyment of the tune itself. Great grooves, memorable melodies, beautiful ballads, and modern day variations on traditional swing make this a great listen for anyone. And Haslip’s right, this is not easy to accomplish…but they did.