When a new Yellowjackets CD comes out, you always expect the unexpected. On their first studio album in five years, their first with the Heads Up label, Time Squared
continues that tradition. Keyboardist Russell Ferrante, bassist Jimmy Haslip saxophonist Bob Mintzer and drummer Marcus Baylor continue to expand jazz horizons by hitting all the bases strong. Time Squared
has something to please just about everyone on the jazz palate. There are signs of contemporary jazz with the title track and Smithtown
. There are signs of straight ahead jazz with a tribute to Thelonious Monk called Monk's Habit
and Sea Folk
. There is also a bit of vocal jazz in Healing Waters
, which is performed by Baylor's wife Jean.
Yellowjackets Time Squared
is also a CD of personal reflection to the members as well. A near fatal illness to Jimmy Haslip's daughter in 2002 is the inspiration for Gabriela Rose
. The Village Gait
, written by Bob Mintzer, is his reflection on what happened in New York on September 11th, 2001. Russell Ferrante's experience about his daughter's difficult change from being a girl to being a woman comes through on Claire at 18
After releasing their last CD on their own, which was nominated for a Grammy award, Heads Up took the chance to sign Yellowjackets and their innovative style to a contract. That chance is going to help Yellowjackets continue to bring their unique style to a new audience and make Heads Up one of the prominent jazz labels around. Time Squared
is Yellowjackets' best work ever. For those who never heard them before, get it immediately.