The Jackets’ time-tested progressive jazz gets a thorough workout in this March 2008 show at the renowned Paris venue New Morning, and the resulting document captures the intimate feeling of a small club show, but with the benefit of top-notch audio and video production quality. It’s cliché to say, “It feels like you’re really there,” but in this case it’s thankfully apropos. The special treats for Jimmy Haslip fans include syncopated rhythms on “Capetown” and “Cross Current” executed with such confidence and skill that they land with the impact of miniature kick drums, his fiendish swing walking on “Bop Boy,” his deeply soulful solo in “Even Song,” and a bonus feature consisting of a seven-minute interview/history lesson about the band with Haslip himself. For anyone who’s heard about Jimmy Haslip’s playing with the Yellowjackets a million times and never actually seen it live, it’s really worth checking out what makes him—and them— so special.
Derek Frank, Let The Games Begin [www.dfrank.net]
The trendsters say the ’80s are hot right now, but Los Angeles sideman vet Derek Frank is having none of that on his supergroovy debut album Let The Games Begin. Right from the bass-anddrums- only downbeat of disc opener “Breakout,” it’s an unapologetic, bassdrenched homage to everything cool about rhythm sections from the ’70s, and Frank’s ’63 Fender P-Bass (strung with flats, of course) is the star of the show, in front of the mix and carving fiercely. Games isn’t stuck in that era’s rut, either; there’s just enough modernity sprinkled about to avoid easy caricature, and today’s thumb stylists will appreciate the Marcus-influenced slapmelody approach to the Hall & Oates classic “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do).” But make no mistake—this is mostly a smorgasbord of vintage keys, unison horn lines, and filter-soaked funky bass that’s designed to make the booty move while the disco ball spins. Somewhere, the Brand New Heavi