Parallel Motion

“Parallel Motion”

(Mack Avenue)

Jazz-fusion innovators Yellowjackets prove they have plenty to add to the game with the release of Parallel Motion (Mack Avenue), their 27th album in a remarkable 40-year career. Though the band is still capable of ripping into a hard-charging groove — as tunes like “Early” and “Onyx Manor” certainly demonstrate —  there’s a spaciousness to Parallel Motion that lends the album a refreshing lightness and bounce, all the better for its members to spread out and get comfortable. The title track perfectly exhibits this open-aired feel. Its ethereal cymbal groove (laid down by the impeccable Will Kennedy on drums) is the jetstream along which Russel Ferrante’s pulsing keyboard chords and Bob Mintzer’s feathery plumy tenor saxophone intertwine and exchange. Toward the song’s end, however, the energy begins to solidify and become dense. Led by Dane Alderson’s thumping bass, the song hurdles to its conclusion like a sonic boom.

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