On one of New York's colder winter nights, the legendary Yellowjackets (Jimmy Haslip, Bob Mintzer, Russell Ferrante, and Marcus Baylor, with special guest Mike Stern), heated up the night at the Blue Note New York for an unparalleled improvisational jazz performance.
When it comes to great Jazz, a little thing like bitter cold weather in the low teens was not enough to keep New Yorkers from coming out enforce for the preeminent improvisational jazz visionaries, the Yellowjackets, who at the time of their performance (February 3 - 8, 2009) at the iconic Blue Note New York had been nominated for two Grammy awards, Best Contemporary Jazz Album - Lifecycle on the HeadsUp label, and Best Instrumental Composition, Claire's Closet composed by Russell Ferrante from the Yellowjackets featuring Mike Stern Lifecycle album.
The Yellowjackets, always a crowd pleaser, opened the set with Jimmy Haslip on 6-string electric bass, special guest guitarist Mike Stern joining in, with Marcus Baylor on drums picking up the pace, Russell Ferrante cooking on piano and keyboards, and Bob Mintzer on soprano sax adding the right dash of spice.
Jimmy Haslip and Mike Stern
The band took the audience on an orchestrated ride alternating between high energy pieces that had the audience nodding their heads and swaying in their seats in time with the beat, and then slowing it down some to let the audience catch their collective breath as they worked dreamy pieces that were as smooth as hot knives cutting through butter.
Two definite highpoints of the night was when the band played "Claire's Closet" written by Russell Ferrante, and "I Wonder" written by Bob Mintzer, both cuts from the Lifecycle album, which really showcased the collaborated cohesiveness for which the Yellowjackets are known.
Solos performances interspersed throughout the songs also highlighted the band's individual talents; Marcus' exquisite brush work on the drums, Jimmy "talking" to his guitar that translated from his lips to his fingers, Bob wailing on the sax as well as on an EWI (electronic wood instrument), Russell working magic on the piano and the keyboards, and Mike's fingering his guitar to perfection while grinning like the Cheshire cat.
Meeting with the band after the performance, (Debra) told Mike Stern that he was like a kid on candy, his energy and enthusiasm clearly contagious throughout the evening, to which he replied, "Yeah, I love playing with these guys," and judging by the flow and groove of the band, it was definitely a mutual feeling. Although it was cold outside, baby, it was hot inside at the Blue Note New York!
Bob Mintzer and Mike Stern
Read the Yellowjackets CD reviews of Lifecycle, Yellowjackets Twenty Five, and Altered State, and the Interview with the Yellowjackets in the Music Scene. Visit the Yellowjackets website, www.Yellowjackets.com to see their upcoming performances calendar.
To learn more about the Blue Note New York, prominent on the New York music scene since 1981, and the upcoming performances calendar, please visit the website: www.BlueNoteJazz.com. The Blue Note offers music nightly at 8:00 pm and 10:30 pm, a Late Night Groove Series on Friday and Saturday at 12:30 am, and a Sunday Brunch.
131 West 3rd Street
New York, New York 10012-1208
© March 2009. Luxury Experience. www.LuxuryExperience.com All rights reserved.