I'm a freelance writer by day and a working jazz musician by night, and often I am able to combine my two lines of work. This blog is for posting gigs & various rants about music and life in general.

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Location: Central Illinois, United States
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Friday, May 27, 2005

altered state

It's been over a week since I posted to the blog, partly because I've been swamped with work and partly because I haven't had much to say. Until now, that is.

Wednesday we (Kevin, myself, and drummer friend Greg) took a trip to St. Louis to see the Yellowjackets at the Jazz Bistro. I'm not sure I'll be able to adequately convey the magic that happened on stage that night, but I'll try.

Actually, it wasn't really magic. It was quite simple, really: enter four talented musicians who can play their @$$es off individually but who play equally as well when performing in and ensemble. These guys listen to each other. They respond. They leave space and fill it, too. They play original music that, on the surface, sometimes sounds simple but is really quite difficult to play. Some of it doesn't sound simple, though, and surely isn't easy to play. But they pull it off. And they sound better every time I hear them.

They are all super nice guys, too. They'll hang out after shows and talk to everyone. We chatted with Bob Mintzer (sax) for a while, and it was just like talking to your best friend. No attitude. No pulling rank. No superiority complex. Just a regular guy. And they're all like that. Sorry for these really short sentences. I'm. Just. Trying. To. Make. A. Point.

So if you get a chance, I urge you to make an effort to catch the Yellowjackets live. I promise you will not be disappointed. They'll be back at the Bistro next April, and I'll be there to cheer them on once again. In the meantime, check out these 'Jackets-related websites:

Yellowjackets official website
bios, performance schedule, cds & transcriptions for sale, more!

Yellowjackets fan-made site
dedicated fans provide another great 'Jackets resource

Bob Mintzer's site
read notes from Bob about the 'Jackets, the Bob Mintzer Big Band, and music in general. he's also got a discussion forum...and he replies to just about every post. ask him something!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man... I need to check out the new stuff from the Yellowjackets. Thanx for the reminder.

2:08 PM  

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