Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Yellowjackets - Politics

I can remember like it was yesterday. The year was late 1989, maybe even a fresh 1990, and I was just a kid; about 22-23 years old. I went to a music store on payday to buy my wife an album; just because (it was Bobby Brown's Don't Be Cruel). As I was looking around for something different, yet cool I stumbled onto the Politics album. I was still living in the "smooth jazz" world which had recently errupted with the likes of Kenny G, David Sanborn, Dave Koz.etc. Thinking I would get a jazz album with a groove like those mentioned above, I eagerly purchased both albums and went home to surprize my wife.

Needless to say, my wife was very happy with my gift to her. As I listnened to my gift to myself, I scratched my head in confusion. I didn't know what to think of it. I put it away and forgot about it for about a month. Then I decided to pull it out again and listen and this time, I was totally blown away by such musicianship and I have been a Yellowjackets fan ever since.

Politics is one of the best jazz releases in my opinion; simply because it is interesting from beginning to end. At times it's playful in a "jam"
sense yet very structured. You can hear all their influences like Miles, Coltrane and Monk just to name a few, and there is also some groove without becoming too groovy like smooth jazz. The standout track on the album is one called Downtown; Talk about all over the place! This is drummer William Kennedy's shining moment. What a magnificent drummer!

To thouroughly describe Politics would be like trying to explain the secret of life, its impossible! If you are a fan of great jazz without becoming too sappy, this is the disc for you. If you are looking for Kenny G, stay clear of this.

It's a hard release to find. I played my album copy for years until last year I found a cd version and of course I snagged it quick! But just for old times sake, I still play my vinyl version and think back on that cold winter's day of the late 80's and thank myself for taking a chance on this gem.

Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
Number of Discs: 1
Label: Mca
Format: FLAC

1. Oz {Ferrante/Haslip/Russo/Kennedy} [4:44]
2. Tortoise & The Hare {Ferrante/Haslip/Russo} [5:32]
3. Local Hero {Russo/Ferrante/Haslip} [4:38]
4. Galileo (For Jaco) {Haslip} [5:05]
5. Foreign Correspondent {Ferrante/Haslip/Russo/Kennedy} [5:43]
6. Downtown {Ferrante} [4:02]
7. Helix {Ferrante/Kennedy} [4:57]
8. AvancГ©{Ferrante} [5:17]
9. One Voice {Ferrante} [3:58]
10. Evening Dance {Ferrante} [5:10]