Sam Yahel

Truth And Beauty

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MUSIC REVIEW BY Chris Robinson, Downbeat, September 2007

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Truth And Beauty, Sam Yahel's fourth offering as a leader, finds the organist joined by Joshua Redman and Brian Blade, two of his closest collaborators. The trio is incredibly tight, which comes as no surprise given their time spent playing together in the Yaya3 collective. Redman plays superbly throughout; in Rollins-esque fashion, he builds several of his solos from a melodic fragments, developing it into a complete statement. Yahel conjures inventive sonorities and textures from his B-3. Blade, whether through his cymbal work, hand drumming on "Bend The Leaves" or various kicks and fills, gives the group energy and intensity.

Yahel's six compositions offer much more than basic statements that give way to blowing. He writes memorable melodies, and the tight arrangements are given as much emphasis as the solos. He also includes on the album, to great effect, "Check Up: by Ornette Colman and a solo B-3 treatment of "A Paz" by Gilberto Gil and Joao Donato. Paul Simon's "Night Game" is the closet thing this album has to a weak spot. The tune is pretty, but its sentimental mood doesn't fit into the disc's aesthetic.








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