Jazz Friday: The YAYennings Quartet

One of my personal goals this year is to get back into the habit of sharing some jazz nuggets around here on Fridays. My pick this time is a recent album by the YAYenning Quartet called Scott Ave. This album gives a contemporary twist to traditional west coast jazz and, musically at least, it pushes every one of my buttons. The music was written by trumpeter Jay Jennings (or Yay Yennings). Tenor sax is played by Bob Reynolds (YouTube) (Focused guest appearance). The band is rounded out by bassist Ross Schodek and drummer Jose Perez. Several of the members are also part of Snarky Puppy.

The music is very much west coast bebop but also contemporary. If you don’t listen to a lot of jazz, something to note about this album is the lack of a comping instrument. There is no piano or guitar laying chords behind the melodies and solos. Instead, the horns will play basic tones behind one another.

The music feels fresh. Multiple times they’ll be racing along and then come to a dead stop, only to start again. It’s delightful. I love this band so much that I’ve even braved Los Angeles traffic to watch them play live and they are tight. Folks sometimes complain my jazz Friday posts have too many dead people. Well, the YAYennings quartet is four very live ones and their album, Scott Ave., was my favorite new jazz album of 2019. Check it out in the iTunes Store, or download it on Apple Music. You’re in for a treat. Also below is one of Bob’s VLOG’s when they were rehearsing, which is pretty fun to watch.