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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ...continuing to deliver good music!, 10 April 2011
casabig (Edinburgh, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Timeline (Audio CD)
To have worked thirty years in the business is exceptional for any band, especially in jazz. But since 1981, the pianist/keyboardist Russell Ferrante and the bassist Jimmy Haslip have maintained the award-winning Yellowjackets--from that year's eponymous Warner Bros. debut Yellowjackets, with its infectious blend of fusion and funk, featuring guitarist Robben Ford, and the incorporation of jazz and strings in Greenhouse /Grp (GRP, 1991), with multi-reed master Bob Mintzer, to the twentieth anniversary double-CD Mint Jam (Yellowjackets Ent., 2001)--and the group's beat, in its varied forms and a few personnel changes, continues to live on and on.
"Timeline" is the Yellowjacket's 21st release, and begins with the seriously hip "Why Is It," marked by the swarming harmonies of Mintzer's bass clarinet and Ferrante's keyboards, held together by the glutinous rhythm section of Haslip and the pulsating traps of drummer Will Kennedy, who joined the band in 1986, but left after 15 years, only to reunite with the group again in 2010.
The signature sound is still intact--one that helped to define the better qualities of contemporary jazz--music that is artistic, played to the hilt, and yet remains accessible to wider audiences. Whether pumping up the groove in Mintzer's "Tenacity", laying down a chamber music vibe in Ferrante's "Indivisible", or paying respect to the great Elvin Jones with guest trumpeter John Daversa in "Like Elvin".
The set showcases the band's depth and insightful nature.
A bluesman at heart, Robben Ford makes a guest appearance in "Magnolia", bringing back pleasant memories with some dirty wah-wah effects.
But Timeline's pacing suffers a bit from the placing of too many ballads and not enough "oomph", as adventurous composition takes a back seat to a more mellowed flow, in contrast to past releases.
There may be room for a little nostalgia, but after thirty years, the Yellowackets have accomplished the darn-near impossible, by staying together and continuing to deliver good music. M.F. Turner

The album made the # 3 of the Billboard Top Jazz Albums chart. March 2011
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Caution ! Experts Playing, 16 May 2011
Jorge Possollo (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Timeline (Audio CD)
For people who know them... just buy it, you won't be disappointed and you won't have to read this.
Some very interesting new tunes, from which I would mention 'Why is it', 'Timeline' and 'Like Elvin', as always performed with impeccable taste, proficiency and perfectonism.
These guys are and have been for the past 15 years, at the very top of their careers and that shows throughout the whole recording.
I have a wide musical taste, from classical Jazz to fusion, country, some rock and folk and I very much enjoy this music. It's modern, melodic, sometime propulsive, expertly arranged and executed.
As much as I enjoyed M.Baylor (the previous drummer), I personally feel the return of W.Kennedy on the drums, is welcomed, as his way of playing fits slightly better with the other members.
If you don't know these guys, maybe begin by buying one of the 'easier' recordings, like 'Mint Jam'.
You will see that they will grow on you and I am sure you will be buyng this recording next. Excellent!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely, 14 April 2012
Amazon Customer (Greater Manchester, Cheshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Timeline (Audio CD)
Love the ballads - goosebumps time for me anyway (sorry if too much info!). Signature track is a joy. Yellowjackets are my all time favourite band - fine, fine musicians all ... long may they continue.
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Timeline by Yellowjackets (Audio CD - 2011)
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