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Timeline

4.2 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 15, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

Nearly two generations of fans have enjoyed the lasting influence and jazz tradition of Yellowjackets - 30 years of continuous service to America's native art form have made them unique in a business known for faddishness and important in that ever-changing world of music. Russell Ferrante - Jimmy Haslip - Will Kennedy - Bob Mintzer. All universally recognized innovators on their own and part of jazz history collectively as Yellowjackets mark this occasion with an all-new release entitled appropriately enough, Timeline. This is an essential chapter of a story that continues to be written.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 15, 2011)
  • Original Release Date: March 15, 2011
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Mack Avenue
  • ASIN: B004KBSQMY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,496 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The Yellowjackets are my favorite band, but I did not care for their last one before this new one. Timeline has the return of drummer Will Kennedy, and it is as though he never left. This is one great modern jazz album. The tunes, the playing, the sound ... all terrific. This has the be the most "jazzy" of their CD's. Check out the samples, and then buy it.
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24-year fan of the Jackets, here; I go all the way back to "Four Corners"...The first 4 tunes are pretty nice - and then the bottom falls out. I don't know if Bob Mintzer felt like doing an album on which he does not play the EWI (which he doesn't here); but none of these tunes give me the usual Yellowjackets goose-bumps. Their signature sound usually includes tunes with a fairly-brisk 4/4 or 8/4 tempo. And their ballads often include nice string /pad underlays, by Russ. Jimmy doesn't jump out at me...just overall a bit boring. Note, to the guys: yes - it's okay to perpetuate what has worked well, for you. Good to hear Will again, though.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is the best music the Yellowjackets have released in some time. I have followed the band since the very beginning when they backed Robben Ford on the great INSIDE STORY. I still have my VINYL record of this recording. I give a lot of the credit to the return of master drummer Will Kennedy. Marcus Baylor was a fine musician, but Will has a unique style and SPIRIT that was lacking on the recordings after he left ten years ago. If you're a fan of the Yellowjackets you will love this CD and the wonderful sound quality achieved by engineer Rich Breen. They are simply the greatest working Jazz Fusion quartet on the scene today.
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I've had this CD for a couple of weeks now, in the car. I waited for a while before I wrote this review because, as is true with ALL of the richest musical compositions, it often takes a while before you really know which tracks you like and which you don't. In the case of this latest gem from the Jackets, the title track (#4, Timeline) is easily the most accessible and immediately enjoyable track on the CD. To tell you the truth, there is a point in this track that made me cry with longing for what I could only call "the glory of the world to come", that's how potent is the spirit of this track. This track remains my favorite today, but now some of the other tracks are starting to pull at my heart, like track 1.

As all Jackets fans know, the time signatures are hard, even for musicians like me. Which is why it's so amazing to hear Will Kennedy's drumming, so exquisite, so tasteful, and so strong. I might not always know where the one-beat is, but it's very clear that HE does. This band, and the Pat Metheny Group, are the masters of making difficult time signatures sound natural, if at the same time frustrating me that I can't always find the one. Complexity aside, though, the music is truly leading edge, in a world which to me seems to be dumbing down as the decades pass. So it's just me and them, and the handful of people like you who are reading these reviews, no doubt most of you being musicians yourselves.

I considered giving them 4 stars instead of 5, but because of the above, I have to go with 5. No one else even comes close to these guys, aside from Metheny/Mays of course. I love these guys, Russell first, but the others equally. I once told Russell in person that in some of their compositions, I felt as though I were hearing the "Voice of God", and I still feel that way. But on this CD, only the title track, Timeline, does that for me. But it does do it. And that has to merit 5 stars. The CD is worth the price for that track alone.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
This is their last album with Jimmy Haslip in the band. It's VERY "trad-jazz" based - with some nice twists and turns in the reharmonizations and modal substitutions as they go thru the changes. Being that Russ, Jimmy and Bob teach and are affiliated with the University jazz curricula, one might also say that this is a "jazz style study" type album - with 'all the familiar stuff.' That'd be selling it short. They 'stretch' a great deal, and Robben Ford's re-entry (from membership as of their debut album, that put them on the map for ME in 1981 or so) in the blues tune 'Magnolia' has them in a nice 'blues twist romp' with Robben doing a lot of guitar wah, and Russ on organ. Great album! It's got some nice sublety in the piano on the later tracks, that make me wish I got the CD (like usual) instead of the MP3. It's good enough for me to reorder the CD version as well, as the clarity and dynamics might not be easy to distinguish in MP3 format - according to ME, at any rate. I'll miss Jimmy - but being with Allan Holdsworth's group is really the only step 'up' at the level of his playing. I'd call it 'lateral' though. Get it. It's a good album!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
In a time when new releases are becoming more of the same ole...the new "Timeline" CD of the Yellow Jackets, is a very good listen. I am a long time fan of their music and wanted to do this review for the jazz lovers out there looking for quality audio by some of the best jazz artists of the genre.
The Yellow Jackets have that unique combination of catchy, upbeat tunes and melancholy ballads that haunt.You will not be disappointed in this CD.
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The Yellowjackets have become one of the top 2 or 3 jazz/fusion groups of our time, and "Timeline" only reinforces that notion. The return of William Kennedy has resurrected the complex polyrhythmic feel of their 90's releases, and the all-around writing and playing standards keep the bar high.
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