The Yellowjackets on Tour: Masters of Intellectual Fusion

The Yellowjackets today.
The Yellowjackets today.

The 1980-s had just begun, when guitarist Robben Ford, keyborder Russell Ferrante, bass hero Jimmy Haslip and drummer Ricky Lawson decided to form a Fusion group. The actual Fusion era was actually just ending. Some of the most brilliant Fusion albums had already been recorded, including “Enigmatic Ocean” by Jean-Luc Ponty, “Carnaval” by Spyro Gyra, “Follow the Rainbow” by George Duke and “A Funky Thide of Sings” by Billy Cobham. Yet, this quartet, the Yellowjackets, managed to come up with another Fusion album every genre enthusiast knows by heart, the self-titled record “Yellowjackets”. That brilliant recording features “Matinee Idol”, a killer Jazz-Funk tune, but also Fusion pieces at their very best.

One of their most memorable gigs of that era happened at the Monreux Jazz Festival in 1981, when they presented the material of that legendary album, and their classic “Monmouth College Fight Song”.

Over the years, they recorded a total of 22 studio albums, the last one, “Cohearence”, just a few months ago. It’s been 36 years since it all started in Los Angeles, and they have changed. Russell Ferrante is the only original member. Also, they have become more intellectual, in the sense that they are telling stories with their music, which has become more quiet, melodic, and mainly based on the great Bob Mintzer’s saxophone sound. Sophisticated “quartet Fusion” is what audiences can expect.

Their tour will take the guys to Hungary, Poland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Bulgaria for the first time ever and Serbia. Who would want to be in their shoes when they have to get to Subotica in northern Serbia, after their Sofia gig? They will probably have to be driven there. A loooong trip. Oh, they are also going to a country called “U.S.”, for a New Jersey gig.

Whenever the Yellowjackets are interviewed, they are being asked where their unconventional band name comes from. There is no conclusive answer. That name was on a list of possible names three and a half decades ago. And it got picked since the other possible names were unacceptable to most band members.

The Yellowjackets today:

Russell Ferrante: Keyboards

Bob Mintzer: Saxophone

William Kennedy: Drums

Dane Alderson: Bass

The Yellowjackets in 1981.

The Yellowjackets in 1981.

By Imanuel Marcus

 

YELLOWJACKETS TOUR:

Oct 16, 2016 Jazzfestival Bydgoszcz, Opera Nova
85-070 Bydgoszcz, Poland
Address: Marszałka Ferdynanda Focha 5, 85-070 Bydgoszcz, Poland
Show times: 7:45 PM (19:45)
Ticket price(s): 65 & 75 zl
Phone: +48 52 322 15 74
Web site: bydgoszczjazzfestival.com.pl/

Oct 17, 2016 Zig Zag Jazz Club
12159 Berlin, Germany
Address: Hauptstra�e 89, 12159 Berlin, Germany
Show times: 9:00 pm (21:00)
Ticket price(s): see venue website
Phone: +49 30 94049147
Web site: www.zigzag-jazzclub.berlin

Oct 18, 2016 Jazzclub Hannover
30449 Hannover, Germany
Address: Am Lindener Berge 38 , 30449 Hannover, Germany
Show times: 8:30pm (20:30)
Ticket price(s): 20 Euro
Phone: +49 511 454455
Web site: www.jazz-club.de

Oct 19, 2016 Altes Pfandhaus
50678 K�ln, Germany
Address: Kart�userwall 20, 50678 K�ln, Germany
Show times: 8:00 PM (20.00)
Ticket price(s): 28, 33 Euro
Phone: +49 221 2783685
Web site: www.altes-pfandhaus.de

Oct 20, 2016 Porgy & Bess
1010 Wien, Austria
Address: Riemergasse 11, 1010 Wien, Austria
Show times: see venue website
Ticket price(s): see venue website
Phone: +43 1 5128811
Web site: www.porgy.at

Oct 21, 2016 Jazzclub Rorschach
Rorschach, Switzerland
Address: see venue website, Rorschach, Switzerland
Show times: see venue website
Ticket price(s): see venue website
Phone: see venue website
Web site: www.jazzclub-rorschach.ch/
Comments: Stay Tuned – More Info to Follow

Oct 22, 2016 Moods
8005 Zurich, Switzerland
Address: Schiffbaustrasse 6, 8005 Zurich, Switzerland
Show times: see venue website
Ticket price(s): see venue website
Phone: +41 (0)44 276 80 00
Web site: www.moods.ch

Oct 23, 2016 Blue Note
20159 Milano, Italy
Address: Via Pietro Borsieri, 37, 20159 Milano, Italy
Show times: see venue website
Ticket price(s): see venue website
Phone: +39 02 6901 6888
Web site: www.bluenotemilano.com

Oct 25, 2016 Teatro Lope de Vega
41013 Savilla, Spain
Address: Av Mar�a Luisa, s/n, 41013 Savilla, Spain
Show times: see venue website
Ticket price(s): see venue website
Phone: +34 955 47 28 28
Web site: www.teatrolopedevega.org/

Oct 26, 2016 Sala Clamores
28010 Madrid, Spain
Address: Calle de Alburquerque, 14, 28010 Madrid, Spain
Show times: 9:00 pm (21:00)
Ticket price(s): see venue website
Phone: +34 914 45 54 80
Web site: www.salaclamores.es

Oct 27, 2016 Sofia Live Club
1000 Sofia, Bulgaria
Address: 1 Bulgaria Square, 1000 Sofia, Bulgaria
Show times: 9:00 pm (21:00)
Ticket price(s): 20 Euro pre, 30 Euro day
Phone: +0886 66 10 45
Web site: www.sofialiveclub.com/en

Oct 28, 2016 Jazzfestival Subotica, Jadran Scene
24000 Subotica, Serbia
Address: Park Rajhla Ferenca 12, 24000 Subotica, Serbia
Show times: 10:00 pm (22:00)
Ticket price(s): see festival website
Phone: see festival website
Web site: http://www.jazzikfestival.com/

Oct 29, 2016 Firchie Think Tank
Novi Sad, Serbia
Address: Bulevar despota Stefana 5, Novi Sad, Serbia
Show times: see venue website
Ticket price(s): see venue website
Phone: +381 62 1122790
Web site: www.firchiethinktank.com/

Nov 17, 2016 Prudential Hall, NJPAC
Newark, NJ 07102
Address: 1 Center Street, Newark, NJ 07102
Show times: 8:00 PM
Phone: 1-888-GO-NJPAC
Web site: www.njpac.org/