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Yellowjackets at Birdland April 25, 2016

Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Music, Personal, Photography, Travel.

Three months and two weeks after my previous visit to Birdland Jazz Club, I returned to see the band Yellowjackets perform. As with the Jeff Lorber Fusion, I went to the middle night of Yellowjackets’ five-night engagement, which coincided with the release of their new album, Cohearence.


This was the second time I’ve seen Yellowjackets perform. The first time was also at Birdland on my 25th birthday, which coincided with their 25th anniversary. I posed for a picture after the show with original member Russell Ferrante, whom I had interviewed a month earlier on WCWP. The picture can be found here and the interview here.

Since 2006, original bass player Jimmy Haslip, and drummer Marcus Baylor, left Yellowjackets. Will Kennedy, who was with the band from 1987 to 1999, returned on drums, and Dane Alderson is now on bass.

So, let’s introduce the band:

Russ played piano and keyboard (not always at once):

Bob Mintzer was on tenor saxophone…

…and EWI (electronic wind instrument):

Will Kennedy on drums:

…and Dane Alderson on bass:

All five nights had shows at 8:30 and 11:00. Here was Thursday’s 8:30 set list:

1. Spirit of the West
Originally heard on: Club Nocturne, 1998

2. Inevitable Outcome*
Originally heard on: Cohearence, 2016

3. Monk’s Habit
Originally heard on: Time Squared, 2003

4. Golden State
Originally heard on: Cohearence, 2016

5. Claire’s Song*
Originally heard on: Mirage a Trois, 1983

6. Even Song
Originally heard on: Run for Your Life, 1994

7. An Amber Shade of Blue
Originally heard on: A Rise in the Road, 2013

*-Bob played EWI

Now for various shots of each band member, beginning with Russell Ferrante:








Bob Mintzer on tenor sax:



…and EWI:



Will Kennedy:







Dane Alderson:

Unfortunately, my view of Dane was mostly blocked by Bob, so I could only get this picture and the one earlier in this post.

A pair of wide shots:


The end of “An Amber Shade of Blue”:




After the show, I went to the merchandise desk and bought a copy of Cohearence. I also brought a copy of the Bob Mintzer Big Band’s latest album, Get Up!

I had Russ sign my copy of Cohearence. Even though I’m about 90 pounds thinner than the last time he saw me, he remembered me when I introduced myself. Ten years later, we posed for another picture:

Next, I introduced myself to Bob Mintzer. We chatted briefly as he signed both Get Up! – I told him “Truth Spoken Here” was my favorite track – and Cohearence. Then, we posed for a picture:

Russ and Bob weren’t the only people I spoke to that night. In the audience were my friends keyboardist Bill Heller and guitarist Chieli Minucci. I caught up with them before calling it a night and heading for home. It was a lively and energetic set, especially when it came to Bob and Dane’s call and response on “An Amber Shade of Blue.” I’m already looking forward to next time.

In the meantime, I’ve listened to Cohearence a few times since Thursday night and love it. My favorite track so far is “Inevitable Outcome,” which was part of Thursday’s set.


1. Acoustic Alchemy at Iridium on my 35th birthday | MikeChimeri.com - November 24, 2016

[…] 11/24 UPDATE: I forgot to note that this trip to see Acoustic Alchemy at the Iridium came ten years to the date after seeing Yellowjackets at Birdland on my 25th birthday. I referenced that trip back in April. […]

2. The Rippingtons at My Father’s Place | MikeChimeri.com - March 23, 2019

[…] My Father’s Place was the first stop on the Ripps’ latest tour, coinciding with the release of their 23rd album, Open Road. Copies were available in the lobby and I gladly purchased one. This was another case of buying an album at a concert the day before its release. The last time I did that was three years ago when I bought Altered State at Yellowjackets’ Birdland show. […]

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