Sam Yahel

Truth And Beauty

origin 82479

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MUSIC REVIEW BY Larry Hollis, Cadence, Oct-Dec, 2007

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If one were to go back and listen to Sam Yahel's debut disc "Searchin'" on the Naxos label, after giving a quick listen to "Truth and Beauty", it might seem like one was hearing two completely different oragnists. That effort sported the horns of Eric Alexander and Ryan Kisor on four of the nine numbers while his following recordings have all been within the trio context of organ, drums, and either guitar or saxophone. Brian Blade was on his sole Criss Cross date and this specific unit has been intact under a variety of names for over half a decade. Since that first Naxos session Yahel has evolved into a more exploratory keyboard player in the manner of Barbara Dennerlein or Jeff Palmer. He was twenty-five then and has appeared in a variety of sideman situations on something of a first call basis where the Hammond organ is concerned. The nine titles essayed here are all from Yahel except for one apiece from Paul Simon, Ornette Coleman, and Gilbert Gil/Joao Donato. Where Mike Nock penned the annotation for that first album, this time the lengthy liners are from another major league keyboardist, Brad Mehldau. He goes into detail about most of the selections so I won't delve into them at length. Regarding the covers it is uncanny how Yahel and his comrades evoke the composers (especially on Ornette's "Check Up" and Paul Simon's little played "Night Game" where one can almost hear the former's alto or the latter's voice without parroting them. This trio is as tight as they come, there three-sided conversations remind me of some of the interplay of Jimmy Giuffre's adventurous triads on Columbia or Atlantic. Redman tailors his tenor to each track and Brian Blade proves once again he is one of the most open-eared percussionists on the planet. There are no fast tracks to be heard but this evenly paced program does contain enough inner heat to keep most listeners attentitive. These guys just keep on keeping on.








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