finally! a concert recap!
I love this band for so many reasons. First, the level of musicianship is phenomenal. Each player is an amazing talent in his own right and when you put the four of them together—look out! I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a group of musicians play together so well, picking up on every nuance, merging individual sounds to create an appealing, collective musical package—everything just fits. Feels good, too. There’s sensitivity, appreciation, respect, and enhancement of and for each other on both a musical and personal level, all the time. And they always seem to have fun. AND they’re all nice guys. I’ve had the opportunity to chat briefly with each musician and they are very friendly and down-to-earth.
We’ve seen the Jackets (fans often refer to the group by this affectionate shortening of the band name) probably half a dozen times now. Every time I fall in love with their music again. For those of you who don’t know, the lineup is Russell Ferrante (piano/synths), Bob Mintzer (sax), Jimmy Haslip (bass), and Marcus Baylor (drums). Being a sax player, of course hearing Mintzer is always a treat. He wasn’t able to play this show, however, due to his son’s graduation. While he was missed, I certainly wasn’t disappointed by the Jackets’ sub choice, Eric Marienthal.
Marienthal is also a West Coast musician, probably best known as saxophonist with Chick Corea’s Elektric Band in the 80s. But he’s put out a lot of his own material too (mostly smooth jazz) and has played with many notable groups. He’s an amazing musician and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone play with so much energy! Total control of his instrument, too. He may be known as a smooth jazz guy but his playing was far from the often vanilla-sounding diatonic lines many players pigeonholed in this genre exhibit. It was a thrill to hear him play.
The Jackets have a new CD (Lifecycle) out featuring guitarist Mike Stern. I’m somewhat familiar with Stern’s work but not overly. Should be interesting to hear what it sounds like with a guitarist in the mix again (the original Yellowjackets featured Robben Ford who founded the group).
Check out tour dates, recordings, and bio info on http://www.yellowjackets.com/. I see they’ll be in Naperville on June 7…I know we just saw them, but we’re thinking of checking this gig out, too. It’s so close to home, I’d hate to miss it!
Special thanks to Nat Radwine who had a huge part in putting this concert together—and who left two free tickets for us at the box office. :-)
And ok, I wasn't going to post this but I think I will anyway...it's a clip from the show. They're playing "Revaltion". The sound/picture isn't very good so sorry about that.