Yellowjackets keep moving forward with new album Parallel Motion

Grammy Award-winning jazz fusion band Yellowjackets have entered their fifth decade as a group and announced the release of their latest album, Parallel Motion.

It’s the long-running quartet’s sixth release with Mack Avenue Records and their 27th record overall.

The current core quartet of Yellowjackets features members who have played in various points of the group’s history. This includes founding pianist/keyboardist Russell Ferrante; drummer Will Kennedy, who played with the band from 1987 to 1999 and returned in 2010; saxophonist Bob Mintzer, who joined in 1990; and electric bassist Dane Alderson, who joined the group seven years ago. Parallel Motion also features vocal contributions from Jean Baylor on the track If You Believe.

“The last two projects were collaborations,” Ferrante said, referring to 2018’s Raising Our Voice with Brazilian vocalist Luciana Souza, and 2020’s Jackets XL featuring the WDR Big Band from Germany. “We wanted to do a project focusing on the quartet. In terms of the material, we wanted to broaden the contributions from everyone. Dane is represented by several tunes. Will is in the mix. Everybody’s involved in every aspect.”

Listen to lead single Intrigue below.

Parallel Motion was recorded in three days after a brief European tour during the pandemic.

“We rehearsed the tunes on the album maybe three times,” Alderson comments on the album’s conception. “I believe we’re only now on this tour performing these songs live, so what you’re hearing are about as fresh as they can be. Everything really came to life in the studio in those three days.”

Throughout the album, Yellowjackets explore resilience and optimism rather than the angst and isolation associated with that period.

For Mintzer, Parallel Motion “represents the commitment to stay together and keep moving forward. It’s really about this four-cornered square that functions no matter what. With each record, all four of us are on the hunt for new ways to put the notes together. The music keeps growing. The focus is this band. A clear, identifiable sound. Four equal parts.”

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Here’s the track listing for Parallel Motion:

  1. Intrigue
  2. Challenging Times
  3. Parallel Motion
  4. Onyx Manor
  5. Samaritan
  6. Il Mio Amico
  7. Resilience
  8. If You Believe
  9. Early

Yellowjackets’ Parallel Motion will be released Aug. 26, 2022, via Mack Avenue Records.