Sam Yahel

From Sun to Sun

origin 82596

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MUSIC REVIEW BY John Ephland, Downbeat Magzine

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***1/2 stars

This trio side has a lot going for it. There's a fetching lyrical quality to much of what keyboardist Sam Yahel offers on From Sun to Sun, and an experimental side as well. It has to be tough to parlay standards and originals in the classic, tried-and-true piano -trio format and still sound like yourself. Yahel plays ear-catching Hammond B3 organ touches and treatments, and in a number of different time signatures and still swinging. But the idea that it always has to swing is not on this group's agenda. Together, bassist Matt Penman, drummer Jochen Rueckert and Yahel sound like a working band. Even though only three of the tunes are covers, much of From Sun to Sun sounds like a charmed visit to the world of standards.

"2 Pilgrims" sounds slightly off-kilter with its weighted 4/4 bounce, the medium-tempo groove laced with pretty chords and an open feeling. And then, the meter-less "After the Storm" adds some of that Hammond B3, coupled with Yahel's sprightly piano lines, all of it in less than two minutes. "After the Storm" gives the impression of an album that's likely to have more than fancy dance with the twist and turn. "Saba" gets us back into band mode with some real odd-and-uptempo, rolling swing, a cooker that shows everybody off. Donald Kahn's "A Beautiful Friendship" is taken at a leisurely, straightforward pace, while "One False Move" reroutes the groove to an uptempo mode. And it's here where the band shows its muscle and ability to maneuver and listen, dancing all over their respective instruments, Rueckert given some welcomed solo space, especially. The playful title track revisits the unexpected with some more artful Hammond B3, an elusive 7/4 swing.








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