22 October 2016
Bad Plus were in Berlin last week but I missed them. The Yellowjackets were at ZigZag for two shows on one night about a week later. Fusion is not so much my thing these days and then they were booked out. I went down anyway and got in for the last few tunes. Hot playing, lots of synths tones from keys and bass and ewi, lithe but firm drumming, solos and swapped eights (interestingly sax and bass), lots of smiles after tight lines falling nicely, not that we’d expect otherwise. These guys are tight and convoluted and get off on their solos. I only heard a few tunes, but one was all fast swing with e-bass twists behind. Bassist Dane is the youngest of the band and the newest member (this being a long-term outfit, Russell dating back to the start of the band in 1977, Bob and Will being long-term members and Dane the newbie) but he’s a big feature on stage, playing fast 6-string with all techniques and some devastatingly quick fingered and sharply toned lines. Bob and Russell took their share of solos but I missed any by drummer Will. A common approach is drum solo on the final tune, but not this time. I enjoyed the show, was blown out by the quick playing and tight lines, the audience was in raptures and I was glad to have caught one touring US jazz act in Berlin. And did I mention that bassist Dane was an Aussie?
Yellowjackets played at ZigZag jazz club in Berlin. The Yellowjackets are Bob Mintzer (tenor, Ewi), Russell Ferrante (keys, piano), Will Kennedy (drums) and Dane Alderson (bass).