Lifecycle is the 20th release by the internationally renowned Yellowjackets, and it is a journey back to their beginning with the inclusion of guitarist Mike Stern to accompany the talented jazz quartet.
Yellowjackets - Lifecycle
Lifecycle: Falken's Maze, Country Living, Double Nickel, Dreams Go, Measure of a Man, Yahoo, I Wonder, 3 Circles, Claire's Closet, Lazaro
Personnel: Russell Ferrante: Piano, Keyboards, Percussion; Jimmy Haslip: Electric Bass, Programming on Lazaro; Marcus Baylor: Drums, Percussion; Bob Mintzer: Tenor and Soprano Saxophone, Bass Clarinet, Bb Clarinet, EWI; Special Guest - Mike Stern: Guitars
Lifecycle was released on the Heads Up label and is the 20th release by this legendary band. Following in their format of improvisational music the band goes full circle, and after an absence of almost 15 years they bring back the sound of a jazz guitar to their mix through the musicianship of noted jazz and jazz-fusion special guest guitarist, Mike Stern. Never at a loss for stretching the barrier of sound and style, on this release the band ventures out by infusing a bluesy sound to the mix through the addition of Mike Stern.
As Russell Ferrante noted, there were no problems melding the harmonics of the piano with the guitar, in fact he felt that the result was a tighter and more balanced sound. The addition of Mike Stern did not result in a couple of guest tracks like other bands may do, but Mike is an integral part of seven of the ten tracks. In addition, Mike contributed two songs to the release (Double Nickel and Dreams Go) and though the two songs were new to the band, the group wrapped their musical talents around each track and turned them into something special.
The release leads off with Falken's Maze written by Bob Mintzer with Mike Stern in mind. As Bob states, when he composes tracks for the Yellowjackets he takes in perspective their individual and combined talents, so with the addition of a guitar sound he created a platform for Mike to roll his sound in with the rest of the band. In addition, Bob's compositions typically have a rhythmic complexity to them and Mike was up to the challenge laying down some outstanding tracks on Bob's Falken's Maze, Yahoo, and I Wonder.
Lifecycle contains a few slow and softer tracks such as Dreams Go and Claire's Closet written by Russell Ferrante, both of which are beautiful renditions. Mixing it up on the release there are the infectious tracks Double Nickel and Yahoo, along with a contemporary jazz groove on the tracks Country Living (with a Gospel beat) written by Jimmy Haslip, Lazaro (a recognizable Yellowjackets track) a collaboration between Jimmy Haslip and Bob Mintzer, Measure of a Man written by Russell Ferrante, and 3 Circles a collaboration of the four Yellowjackets.
The band takes on a different persona with the inclusion of the harmonics from the guitar and the resultant sound is spicy and fresh. Lifecycle is lead by the combination of Bob Mintzer's saxophone and clarinet and Mike Stern on guitar, while the rest of the band contributes their familiar excellent musicianship. Lifecycle is another incredible release from the Yellowjackets, who continue to improvise and draw their sound to new heights.
Websites where you can procure Yellowjackets - Lifecycle are Heads Up, Artist Direct, HB Direct, CD Universe, Music Stack, Billboard, SoundsBox, and The Electric Fetus.
© June 2008. Luxury Experience. www.LuxuryExperience.com. All rights reserved.