WBGO Radar

Yellowjackets: A Rise In The Road

Yellowjackets CD A Rise In The Road

Summertime brings vacations - fresh adventures, new discoveries and delightful tales to share. There's no vacation this season for The Yellowjackets, but there are, to our delight, many musical adventures and tales on their new recording.

"A Rise In The Road" marks the twenty second trip in the group's thirty-two year history. The "rise" comes with challenges along the way and musical horizons on the approach. The departure of one founding member, bassist Jimmy Haslip, left co-founding pianist and keyboardist Russell Ferrrante, drummer Will Kennedy and saxophonist Bob Mintzer (23 years with the band) to figure the next turn.

This new Mack Avenue release brings bassist Felix Pastorius (son of legendary Jaco) into the group. Mintzer's "I Knew His Father" is not only a welcome to Felix, but a recollection of Mintzer's time as a member of Jaco's big band.

Ferrante nods to the rhythm of Herbie Hancock's "Canteloupe Island" with "Can't We Elope", featuring a nice guest spot for trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire. Another Ferrante chart, "Longing" makes great company for your own late night charting. Drummer Will Kennedy contributes "Madrugada."

I had a car once with 240,000 well traveled miles. It felt new every time I got behind the wheel, if only because of where it was about to take me. So it is with The Yellowjackets and "A Rise In The Road." The record comes out June 18th.

Enjoy the ride.

   - WBGO music director Gary Walker

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