Yellowjackets -][- Run for Your Life – [GRP Records, 1994] –Review–
At any given moment, it seems more often then not I’m ushered into what or not to listen too. After all, time is precious. Recently my ears have been itching to hear the upcoming debut by the Yellowjackets on Mack Avenue Records. In the meantime, it was inevitable that I had to dive into something that would temporarily sustain my hunger so why not spin “Run for Your Life” their 1994 recording on GRP Records.
As the distinctive flavors of “Jacket Town, The Red Sea, Muhammed, Ancestors, City of Lights and Wisdom” wait in que I’m suddenly moved to press play. Within seconds the music begins to slowly bleed through the speaker system to unleash one by one an unbridled soundscape of melodies clothed in a expansive fabric of acoustic and electric textures exudes with a twist of unstrained emotions. The intricacies of these melodies summoned me into a deeper chromosphere to explore the unyielding details of African influences swelling from within the body that’s firmly anchored to the rhythmic and complex voicing’s underneath explodes into an infallible stream of infectious grooves. Meanwhile as time passes, I’m reminded as a self-proclaimed jazz enthusiasts I simply can’t ignore the fact that this project (among many by them) by this seasoned ensemble is worth recommending to virtually anyone I meet along the way that claims to love jazz.
The Yellowjackets are truly champions to be admired, they’ve endured a few personnel changes over the years that would have been deal breakers for most groups. However, due to their passion and perseverance they stuck to their guns and delivered twenty-four memorable recordings successfully in a industry and country that’s not exactly jazz friendly. For selfish reasons, I’m thankful they have been able to sustained themselves through this fascinating musical journey. No bones about it, the versatile Jackets will debut once again in the near future with another attractive recording that should increase their indelible imprint on the canvas of jazz. These adventurous sounds that appear on “Run for Your Life,” proves my theory why their fans return time and again to hear more music by this wonderful quartet.
—Rob Young | The Urban Flux