Life Changes, the latest CD of Scottish gypsy jazz violinist Alex Yellowlees, attempts to introduce a lot to the newbies to this subgenre while apparently continuing to fascinate his followers.
This is a pretty well-oiled machine, as the guitar (which shares a lot of the action here) and bass lines go a long way in helping to clearly elaborate on what Yellowlees is attempting here, while his very expressive violin does much to lay down the message.
The violin touch to the blues, in and of itself, offers a fresh perspective to this music. There are masterful hooks and pleasant melodies, all of which serve him and the album extraordinarily well here. An example would be the bluesy little swing number, "Minor Swing," which has more than a little foot-tapping quality. The guitar solos here and elsewhere on the album are vibrant, sure, and deliberate.
As Yellowlees’ bio sheet states: "There are 11 wonderful renditions of songs past and past.... and several arrangements written for the album have crafted a subtle new perspective on old favorites which gives the release a magic of its own." Yes, I think I’m comfortable in agreeing with that assessment. Give this one a listen, and I'm sure you'll find yourself in agreement, as well.