Yellowjackets: Timeline (2011) CD Review

Discussion in 'Musical Goodness' started by admin, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. admin Audioholics Robot Staff Member

    admin
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    It's hard to believe the quantity of high quality original music the Yellowjackets have turned out over the past 30 years. Timeline has CD quickly become one of my all-time favorite Yellowjackets releases, and I bet I listen to it an average of once a week. I believe that drummers are the heart and soul of a group, and I think the essence of the Yellowjackets can be found in the grooves of William Kennedy over the last 20 years or so. Unfortunately, this may be the last release to feature both Kennedy and Haslip, as Jimmy Haslip has now officially been replaced in the bass chair by Jaco Pastorius' son, Felix. Only time will tell if this mix yields similar results, but I'm sure many long-time Jaco fans are dreaming of the possibilities. Great music, great sound quality, get this CD!
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  2. Irvrobinson Audioholic Ninja

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    Nice review. I'm a big Yellowjackets fan. I have every one of their CDs. Their albums are also very effective subwoofer exercisers, which makes them double fun.
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  3. Stanton Audioholics Contributing Writer

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    Agreed. They also image well in multi-channel processor modes (found on many DSP amps/receivers), which is another testament to a good mix job. I typically don't listen to stereo mixes with surround-sound processing, but Yellowjackets CD's seem to "play well" in those modes.
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  4. afterlife2 Audioholic Spartan

    afterlife2
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    Thanks for the review. Can someone recommend 3 other good CD's by them?
  5. Stanton Audioholics Contributing Writer

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    Here are 3 others I've done that can be found on this site (search under "Pro Reviews/Music, Movies, Software"): Blue Hats, Politics, and their self-titled debut album. It's much harder to find a BAD Yellowjackets CD than a GOOD one!
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  6. afterlife2 Audioholic Spartan

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    Last edited: Mar 2, 2013
  7. Irvrobinson Audioholic Ninja

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    I highly recommend Blue Hats too. If you have a subwoofer, track 2, With These Hands, shakes the room.

    I also enjoy the album "time squared".
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  8. Irvrobinson Audioholic Ninja

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    They are a lot like Spyro Gyra, in that they're very lively contemporary jazz. I think the Yellowjackets are more consistent, both in the musical content and the sound quality of their albums.

    If you really want to try a few different albums in this genre, you might consider trying the albums Herb Alpert did on his second label, ALMO: Second Wind, Passion Dance, and Colors. Alpert is one awesome musician and producer.
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  9. Stanton Audioholics Contributing Writer

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    Possibly my favorite Yellowjackets song of ALL TIME; a close second would be Geraldine (from The Spin). Not coincidentally, both tunes were written by the keyboard player, Russell Ferrante.
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  10. afterlife2 Audioholic Spartan

    afterlife2
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    Thanks alot Irvrobinson and Stanton. I'll pick those up guys. I got to see Spyro Gyra once and they were amazing! Irv I have Passion Dance on DVD-A, but haven't listened to it yet because I don't have my 5.1 setup yet. I have a 3.1 right now. I will remedy that sometime this week, I hope. I always heard the name Yellowjackets, but never heard their stuff. Thank you for the heads up gentlemen.
  11. Hobbit Full Audioholic

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    Hi Irv,

    Just picked up Blue Hats and am listening it to right now. I must say I am really enjoying it (besides the good sound quality). I can see the comparison to SG, which I've kind of grown out of over the years. Blue Hats seems a little less smooth jazz with perhaps a little more be-bop. More interesting for sure.
  12. Irvrobinson Audioholic Ninja

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    I understand. SG and all of these contemporary jazz bands can sometimes get to be a little like Vivaldi - after a while all of their songs start to sound a lot alike. :) More so with SG, a little less so with Yellowjackets. Fourplay is in the same quadrant too.
  13. afterlife2 Audioholic Spartan

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    Really enjoying their stuff. Looking forward to the DVD concert. Thanks guys.
  14. woensl.itis Audioholic

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    Uh what?

    I hear nothing of the sort.

    I do hear good musicians playing good pop/rock/r&b tunes. Good melodies. Good harmonic rhythm. Even if it is simple. Simple never hurt anyone. I hear good musicianship. Most of all I hear good production value which is almost unmoatched through the real jazz world. It's hard to find amazing players on amazing recordins. Yellowjackets seem to be a middle ground. They are more comparable to Lettuce or Soulive. Rather than the RH factor.
  15. dpattillo Junior Audioholic

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    I'm a big Soulive fan. Got to check out the Yellowjackets.
  16. Hobbit Full Audioholic

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    In this case I agree with Irv. IMO, it's kind of elevator music - great to listen to while doing chores around the house. I don't believe myself, or Irv, are putting down the music, their musicianship, or (sub) genre for that matter. There are great musicians making all sort of music. I listen to all different genres of music and can always appreciate the musicians and their musicianship. However, that doesn't mean their music does anything for me (YJ is on my playlist). Many of the best musicians in the world make a living writing simple songs... But just like at my day job, some people are money driven and others are driven by creativity - and there's a lot of gray area between. Both come up with great solutions to problems.


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  17. dpattillo Junior Audioholic

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    I have to agree that much of the modern jazz can sound lifeless and lacking in genuine emotion "like elevator music". I think this is more evident on the studio recordings where everything is rerecorded and processed to death. If you get the chance to listen to live recordings of bands like Soulive you get a completely different vibe. Music should not be about technical perfection unlike the hifi gear that reproduces it.
  18. woensl.itis Audioholic

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    Most of the time, even in jazz that sounds techincal, the music is about everything but techincal perfection, IMO.

    Yngwie malmsteen is more about technical perfection than, say, John Coltrane. I WOULD throw Allan Holdsworth under the technical perfection light, but he, too, also has some very deep, thoughtful melodies and songs.

    The Yellowjackets are more of the breed of modern pop/jazz. I would associate the term "Modern Jazz" with the likes of Brad Meldhau and Jason Moran. But jazz is changing every day. There are many who would call anything Post-Charlie Parker as modern jazz. The stuff that was modern yesterday (like Joshua Redman and Mulgrew Miller) isn't really what we're hearing today from Kurt Rosenwinkel.

    It's very deep and complex -______-

    For me, elevator music is more along the lines of Marcus miller and some of George bensons smooth jazz escapades. Also, a lot of the Pat Metheny Group (w/ lyle mays) sound elevator-y to me.

    For modern jazz that isn't lifeless and mundane.... check out these guys:

    Kurt Rosenwinkel - "Heartcore" , "The next Step"
    Avishai Cohen - "Lyla"
    The RH Factor - "Hardgroove" , "Distractions"
    Gary Thomas - "Til We have Faces"
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013
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  19. Irvrobinson Audioholic Ninja

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    I never said lifeless or lacking in emotion, I was just pointing out that many of the songs from the same bands have a similarity to them. I used Vivaldi as an example because I like Vivaldi, and his music often has a certain similarity too.
  20. dpattillo Junior Audioholic

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    I know what you mean by similarity. I love the blues and some electronica but tire of it at times because it can become monotonous. Some of the newer jazz recordings sound dead to me. I love live music, playing and listening to it. My point was that sometimes live versions of songs can breathe life into the same song you've heard on studio recordings that have been individually tracked and polished to technical perfection.

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