What originated as Robben Ford’s late-1970s session band has since turned into a respected outfit in its own rights. The Yellowjackets have endured several line-up changes over three decades, and judging by Time Squared it’s all been for the better. This is a solid testament to one of jazz rock’s most diverse and invigorating bands today.
The Yellowjackets may in fact be too diverse for their own good, as it’s hard to get one’s head around what exactly it is they’re trying to do here. Yet, they probably wouldn’t have it any other way. Although they’re a product of the era that spawned them, they are by no means restricted by it, and their present compositions reference everything from bop to acid.
More than anything, though, this album is defined by its urban smoothness and quiet humor. The more subdued tracks may be the most immediately arresting: check out “Gabriela Rose” and “Claire at 18.” But it’s the diversity and willingness to give up any self-imposing restrictions that really sets Time Squared apart, proving the Yellowjackets to be as vibrant today as they ever were.
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