Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Yellowjackets - Politics (1988)

I'm not familiar with the band's entire catalog; the newest Yellowjackets release I have is from 1995. I'm not a huge fan, but I enjoy the group's work from time to time. Founded in 1981 and often grouped in with smooth jazz groups, Yellowjackets quickly evolved into a more straight-ahead fusion/post bop in the style of Weather Report or Steps Ahead. The standout players in this quartet are Russell Ferrante on keyboards and Jimmy Haslip on 5-string bass. Marc Russo (saxophone) has great skills but doesn't have the best tone, IMO. In 1989, the album was awarded the Grammy for Best Jazz Fusion Performance, an award only given the years 1980-1991. As the CD goes on, the music becomes more acoustic and less electronic, but the characteristics of the band's music don't change: busy accompaniment, lots of melodic doubling, and plenty of cymbal work.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: Did not chart

Tracks: 10 tracks clocking in at almost 50 minutes. My favorites are Oz, Local Hero, Foreign Correspondent, and Evening Dance. The obligatory late '80s tribute song to Jaco Pastorius, Galileo, is pretty bland but has some nice soloing by Haslip. I usually skip One Voice.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: I listened to this often during the fall of 1988 when I was student teaching. I didn't have many CDs then (I was in college and they were expensive), so the few I had were listened to quite a bit.

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