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Russell Ferrante

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ENTERTAINMENT
July 18, 1992 | ZAN STEWART, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Russell Ferrante isn't one of those performers who gripes about the road. Having been on tour for the last couple of weeks, the keyboardist with contemporary jazz-fusion band the Yellowjackets says he's as happy as a Sierra Club member on a deserted mountain trail.
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ENTERTAINMENT
July 18, 1992 | ZAN STEWART, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Russell Ferrante isn't one of those performers who gripes about the road. Having been on tour for the last couple of weeks, the keyboardist with contemporary jazz-fusion band the Yellowjackets says he's as happy as a Sierra Club member on a deserted mountain trail.
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ENTERTAINMENT
November 30, 1991 | BILL KOHLHAASE, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Electric bassist Max Bennett doesn't have a high opinion of a lot of the jazz he hears nowadays--just what you'd expect from a guy who once played with Charlie Parker. But Bennett isn't a be-bop purist, by any means. He was an integral part of saxophonist Tom Scott's groundbreaking fusion outfit, the L.A. Express, back in the '70s and has recorded with the Crusaders, Joni Mitchell, Quincy Jones, Frank Zappa and the Four Tops.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 15, 1995 | Zan Stewart
The studio-based GRP unit, with its multiple arrangers--Michael Abene, Bob Mintzer, Tom Scott, Dave Grusin, Russell Ferrante--suffers from the lack of a single personality. It's also small in size--13 pieces, with only one trombone (the excellent George Bohannon) and three trumpets--so its sound is slightly diminished from a full 16-17 member unit.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 30, 1988 | DON HECKMAN
You've got to give guitarist Robben Ford credit. His opening set at At My Place on Monday (the first of a two-night stand) was an effective return for the musician known for his jazz fusion work to the classic blues he described as his "real musical preference." Concentrating on material from his new Warner Bros. album "Talk to Your Daughter," Ford sang passably well and played a lot better in a program that ranged from the title song (an old J. B.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 12, 1987 | A. JAMES LISKA
The Palace was packed to the rafters by 8:30 Thursday night, the musicians were on hand and everything was set for the appearance of Sadao Watanabe, the Japanese jazz saxophonist. But it wasn't until 9:45 that the show finally began. The reason for the delay? According to one of the mid-floor peacekeepers, it was to sell more booze. As an alcohol salesman, Watanabe deserves no credit. As a musician, he deserves much.
NEWS
June 2, 2005 | Don Heckman, Special to The Times
With the Yellowjackets' 25th anniversary coming next year, the group continues to exemplify how to reach beyond the mainstream jazz audience. Formed in the late '70s as a backup ensemble for guitarist Robben Ford, the quartet -- which now consists of original members Jimmy Haslip (bass) and Russell Ferrante (keyboards) with later additions Bob Mintzer (saxophones and clarinets) and Marcus Baylor (drums) -- has moved easily across the boundaries of contemporary jazz genres.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 6, 1990 | DON HECKMAN
The Yellowjackets continue to make real strides toward jazz legitimacy. Performing on a Saturday night at the Greek Theatre with Michael Franks, the quartet sounded far removed from the fusion that dominated its early music. A good part of the credit must go to keyboardist Russell Ferrante, whose ensemble playing reflected his compositional style of contrasting powerful blocks of harmony with rapid-fire, Lennie Tristano-esque melody lines--all of it executed with a powerful rhythmic drive.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 14, 1992 | LEONARD FEATHER
Since this 12-tune project involved an ad hoc band, with four different pianists and no fewer than eight very different arrangers, the results are as variable as might be expected. They range, in fact, from the sublime (Russell Ferrante's ingenious arrangement of Victor Feldman's "Seven Steps to Heaven") to the ridiculous (Tom Scott's pseudo-funk bleating on his tenor sax solo on Lee Morgan's "The Sidewinder").
ENTERTAINMENT
October 3, 1994 | ZAN STEWART
Friday night at the Greek Theatre was supposed to belong to Hiroshima. The L.A.-based pop-fusion band has been touring in support of its new "Hiroshima/L.A." album and, said leader Dan Kuramoto, was anxious for play for the hometown crowd. Enter the Yellowjackets. Like the visiting team that trounces the host at a homecoming football game, the jazz-fusion quartet opened the concert and stole Hiroshima's thunder. On a strictly musical level, the bands were in completely different leagues.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 25, 2000 | DON HECKMAN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Singer Kevyn Lettau has been strongly identified with Brazilian music--a reflection, no doubt, of her association with Sergio Mendes and her own Brazilian-oriented recordings. But Lettau recently has been staking out more inclusive musical territory, gradually establishing a personal style that embraces contemporary jazz, mainstream, rock, reggae and, yes, Brazilian rhythms.
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