“Lifecycle (featuring Mike Stern)”
This newest release from the Yellowjackets is right on par with what you’d expect… Plus guitar god Mike Stern. OK, so I lied… it’s more than you’d expect.The group is in top form on this release and I would venture to say that these compositions and performances come off (to my ears) as slightly more organic than some previous releases. Always a groove oriented band, there seems a tad more grease and flexibility this time around. It may also be that the lead voice duties are also shared by Stern, so there is a tad less redundancy in overall sound from track to track (not a jab, it’s just nice to hear a different voice leading the song sometimes).
This being Bass Musician Magazine, I may as well talk about the rhythm section. Marcus Baylor is a pocket demon. This guys got SUCH a nice feel, rock solid time and just a wealth of subtlety and musicality. And Jimmy Haslip is straight up killing it on this CD. Wonderful tone, solid pocket and some truly wonderful solos.
This band has always been at the top of the game, but the sound is maturing and growing in such a way as to please the old fans and, most definitely, make some new ones with this record!