Yellowjackets Yellowjackets

In 1977, Robben Ford assembled a group of veteran session musicians to record his album The Inside Story. The trio of musicians, which included keyboardist Russell Ferrante, bassist Jimmy Haslip and drummer Ricky Lawson, soon discovered a certain “chemistry” and musical affinity that led to their formation of Yellowjackets. The Inside Story being mainly instrumental, Robben Ford's record label wanted him to record another album that was more pop and vocal oriented. The group, known as the Robben Ford Group, preferred to pursue the instrumental route, and a “band within a band” was formed. This same group with Robben Ford on guitar recorded digital demos that were eventually accepted by Warner Brothers, and Yellowjackets was born. While Robben's contributions would diminish over the years to being a guest artist, the group known as Yellowjackets would flourish.

Their debut album Yellowjackets made serious waves in jazz radio, garnering public and critical acclaim. Mirage A Trois followed in its footsteps. While they went on a brief hiatus to pursue other projects, they reassembled in time for the 1984 Playboy Jazz Festival, adding percussionist Paulinho Da Costa and their new lead voice, sax man Marc Russo. This landmark concert paved the way for their eventual success both on the Billboard Jazz charts and concert venues around the world, and resulted in the third spicy Yellowjackets album Samurai Samba. 1986 saw the group moving over to MCA Records to record Shades, the title track being written by Donald Fagen (of Steely Dan fame) as a tribute to the many “shades” he heard in the group's music.

Read more

Tags

Album Reviews
Film Reviews
Album Reviews
Interviews
Album Reviews
Read more articles

Photos

Albums

Album Raising Our Voice by Yellowjackets

Raising Our Voice

Mack Avenue Records
2018

buy
Album A Rise In The Road by Yellowjackets

A Rise In The Road

Mack Avenue Records
2013

buy
Album Timeline by Yellowjackets

Timeline

Mack Avenue Records
2011

buy
Album Lifecycle by Yellowjackets

Lifecycle

Heads Up International
2008

buy
Album Twenty Five by Yellowjackets

Twenty Five

Heads Up International
2006

buy
Album Altered State by Yellowjackets

Altered State

Heads Up International
2005

buy

Similar Jazz Musicians

Pat Metheny Pat Metheny
guitar
Weather Report Weather Report
band/orchestra
Michael Brecker Michael Brecker
saxophone, tenor
Charlie Haden Charlie Haden
bass, acoustic
Spyro Gyra Spyro Gyra
band/orchestra
David Sanborn David Sanborn
saxophone
Return to Forever Return to Forever
band/orchestra
Peter White Peter White
guitar

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.