This year at IAJE (2005), the Yellowjackets and Big Phat Band performed a concert the first night of the event. After I went to IAJE, I headed out to the concerts to watch the two groups perform for the first time (it wasn’t the first time they performed, it was the first time I saw them perform). On different occasions, I have seen a few of the musicians in the groups perform as solo artists, such as Eric Marienthal from Big Phat Band, but I had never seen them perform as part of these bands.

The Yellowjackets were the first of these two groups to perform. I was most impressed by Bob Mintzer on sax and Russell Ferrante on piano. I have been a fan of the Yellowjackets for a while, favoring their album “Time Squared”, and was very pleased when they played several tracks off the album. Bob Mintzer played mostly tenor sax, but during a few songs, he also played EWI. His EWI playing was amazing.

Big Phat Band performed immediately after the Yellowjackets, and I was very impressed with them as well. It was the first time I had ever heard a professional big band perform and it was really great getting to hear them.

If you are interested in reading more about the IAJE conference, I wrote an article about it that you can read.

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Published by Shannon Kennedy

Shannon Kennedy is a vocalist and saxophonist living in Southern California. She is author of "The Album Checklist" and the founder of Teen Jazz. She has been contributing articles to music magaizines and websites since 2004.