Sam Yahel

Truth And Beauty

origin 82479

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MUSIC REVIEW BY Birney K. Brown, Audiophile Auditiion

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Organ trios have never been my thing. I think my entire jazz collection includes only one by Jimmy Smith and a Larry Young disc. But many people love this stuff. I strongly suggest that enthusiasts of this genre quickly check out this release. The three band members have substantial experience playing with each other and it really shows. Both tenorman Redman and drummer Blade are magnificent at conceptualizing and implementing Yahel's arrangements on six originals and three largely obscure titles. Mr. Blade in particular demonstrates his versatility as one of the very best and most tastefully supportive drummers in jazz today. Mr. Redman needs no more accolades.

As is the norm in jazz recordings of late, the sonics are superb. The packaging does not indicate it anywhere, but my DAC's indicator light lit up to reveal it has been HDCD encoded - just another pleasant surprise. (I oftentimes wonder if music in general would be more concentration-meriting and less "transitory, disposable & mobility-bound" with inferior playback if it was given the degree of care in recording that the jazz idiom receives - but that's a topic for another day).

Yahel's songwriting is workmanlike, but solid. I don't think any tunes will become anything near standards, but they are enjoyable and stimulating enough. Tracks 4 through 7, "Behind The Leaves", "Saba", "Night Game" and "Child Watching" are all nicely done with excellent interplay. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that there was more than the usual amount of discussion about the desired overall nature of each track before they hit the studio.

To wrap up, a talented organist/composer, a tenor sax man among the very best who knows how to participate in bringing the leaders ideas to fruition and a first rate drummer just as comfortable in elegant support as he is in driving a tune. While not being an organ trio aficionado, I suspect this one (along with its excellent sound) is up with the better releases of its type.








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