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Album Review

Contemporary jazz ensemble Yellowjackets' 2011 Mack Avenue debut, Timeline features the band's longstanding knack for straddling the line between smooth jazz and more cerebral post-bop stuff. Marking the group's 30 years in the business, the album is a perfect mix of low-key, soulful moments and more funky, angular jazz. In that sense, it's a perfect balance of what the band has done throughout its career. Showcased here are members saxophonist Bob Mintzer, keyboardist Russell Ferrante, bassist Jimmy Haslip, and drummer Will Kennedy, as well as guests guitarist Robben Ford and trumpeter John Daversa. Ultimately, with tracks like the disarmingly knotty opener "Why Is It," the expansive "Tenacity," and the ruminative R&B-infused title track, Timeline reveals Yellowjackets as a band in a seemingly reinvigorated and creative state of mind. Not a bad place to be at 30.

Customer Reviews

Another stunner from the very best

Closing in on three decades, the Yellowjackets continue to make some of the finest contemporary jazz ever created. Their hallmark of unexpected harmonies, chord progressions, key changes and rhythms never get old or tired. Their "melodies" and hooks are always inviting, accessible, original and fresh. This album displays all these qualities that only the Yellowjackets can continue to deliver, year after year after year. If you love great jazz and are ever stuck on a desert island, just take along a CD like this and you'll be a peace forever.

another brilliant offering from the jackets!

had the pleasure of seeing these guys live at scullers in boston last spring, they said they were working on an album. with timeline they have delivered. tight group from russ on keyboards, jimmy on bass, bob on saxophones and william on drums. keep recording! peace. ps itunes what would be unclean about an album with no vocals (raunchy saxophone, i suppose?)


I've been a Yellowjackets fan every since a friend bought me their self titled debut album. And now it's thirty years later.... :-) I've seen them in concert both as a group, and separately performing with others. I'll never grow tired of listening to their music. This cd ranks as one of their best. It runs the gamut with sounds seemingly from different phases in their career. I sure was happy to see they got a Grammy nomination for it. I'd have been po'd if they hadn't. :-)


Formed: 1981

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Although sometimes grouped with Spyro Gyra, Yellowjackets are actually one of the most creative regular groups in the "rhythm & jazz" genre. Founded in 1981 as an R&B-oriented band that starred guitarist Robben Ford, the group took a giant step forward when, after Ford's departure, altoist Marc Russo took his place. With original members Russell Ferrante on keyboards and electric bassist Jimmy Haslip, in addition to drummer William Kennedy, the band found its own R&B-ish sound, sometimes playing...
Full Bio
Timeline, Yellowjackets
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