My Favorites (Fusion Jazz): “Sightseeing” - Yellowjackets
This is one of my favorite songs from one of my favorite Yellowjackets albums Four Corners. The sounds date the music to the 1980s but that actually adds a certain nostalgia for me. It takes me back to some happy and more innocent times in the 80s.
The piece starts out in 4/4 time but after a 6/8 feel is added it stays in 6/8 with the 4/4 feel adding a polyrhythmic effect. The rhythmic variation adds a particular interest but the chord progression and melody really add color and meaning to this song and make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Jimmy Haslip’s bass playing is conversational, subtle and advanced and he has a soulful bend to his sound when he accompanies Marc Russo on the melody.
Russell Ferrante’s piano solo plays with the rhythmic complexity of the song by taking sparse ideas and re-contextualizing them rhythmically and harmonically.
When Russo’s sax solo comes in at the end his climactic altissimo is heightened by the addition of Brazilian-style vocal backgrounds that add a lush personal sound to the recording.
Not to be left out is the fiery energetic punctuations of Will Kennedy on the drums. His fills and tight groove are the engine that makes this song move.
This is definitely one of my personal favorites from the whole Yellowjackets catalog.