Throughout their storied 35-year history, the Yellowjackets have recorded 22 albums, received 17 Grammy® nominations – won 2 – performed countless sold-out tours, and enjoyed worldwide critical acclaim and commercial success.
The Yellowjackets formed in the late 1970’s as the backup band for guitarist Robben Ford and recorded their first album together in 1980. That first album was very successful. However, shortly after that recording Robben Ford decided to record in a different musical direction (more blues) and thus the modern day Yellowjackets were formed originally as a trio with Russell Ferrante, Jimmy Haslip and Ricky Lawson. From that time forward to today with the addition of Bob Mintzer, the Yellowjackets have gained and maintained prominence as one of jazz’s most influential and most loved jazz groups.
Throughout it all the band has undergone numerous lineup changes. Never failing to rise to the inevitable challenges of adjustment the Yellowjackets – Russell Ferrante, William Kennedy, Bob Mintzer – have maintained an extraordinarily high quality of musicianship that is the rival of many but a surprise to no one who knows and appreciates the band and their music.
The most recent addition to the band adds bass player Dane Alderson in to the mix. Dane hails from Sydney, Australia but now lives in the United States. Dane brings a new energy to the band and a unique and youthful approach to the music. He grew up listening to the Yellowjackets never actually realizing that he would someday join them on stage as a member of the group. It’s a testimony to his high level of groove and rhythmic sensibility, that Dane fits right in. It’s as though he’s always been here.
The Yellowjackets plan to record their 23rd album this summer. Watch for the album will be released on Mack Avenue Records in early 2016.