Funk Fusion Titans
Over nearly four decades of performing and over 20 albums to their credit, Grammy Award winners the Yellowjackets have become one of the premiere instrumental jazz ensembles in modern music. With their latest release, 2016’s Cohearance, and the addition of bassist Dane Alderson, they are again transcending the “fusion” tag that they helped create.
Originally formed by Robben Ford to back him up for his 1977 record, The Inside Story, the trio of keyboardist Russell Ferrante, bassist Jimmy Haslip and drummer Ricky Lawson found they had more in common than just this session. By the time they released their debut record, they had taken the Yellowjackets name, and started getting attention from jazz radio across the country. A number of personnel changes aided in the band’s streamlined sound: the addition of versatile drummer William Kennedy in 1986 and saxophonist Bob Mintzer in 1991 were two of the biggest, and they make up the current lineup of the band.
What Other People Have Been Saying...
“…infectious blend of fusion and funk” -All About Jazz
“There’s the Crusaders, then there’s the Yellowjackets… I don’t know anyone else who has lasted that long!” -Robben Ford