On In The Blink Of An Eye
New York based Hammond B-3 specialist Sam Yahel offers the listener bluesy, cool and spirited renderings of pieces such as Freddie Hubbard's modern day classic 'Little Sunflower' and Frank Loesser's 'I Believe In You'. Along with guitarist and ongoing member of Larry Golding's organ trio Peter Bernstein and ace drummer Brian Blade, Yahel serves up a rather tasty, affable and compact recording brimming with upbeat vibes and an articulate approach to the organ trio format. Throughout, Yahel is quite adept at utilizing the B-3 as a rhythmic instrument or providing textures and nuance behind Bernstein's often bright soloing and Blade's workmanlike drumming. On McCoy Tyner's 'Inception', Yahel airs it out with nimble right hand leads while deconstructing the melody line and comping with the rhythm section. Peter Bernstein's 'Just A Thought' commences as a soft ballad which evolves into a moderate tempo swing featuring thoughtful and quite colorful soloing by the composer while Yahel's original composition 'So Long' is constructed around a smooth samba beat enabling the trio to embark on disparate choruses and shifting themes. One of the highlights is the inventive and most appealing rendition of the standard, 'Like Someone In Love'. Here, Yahel institutes a memorably melodic hook, which provides a pleasant contrast to the familiar theme.
Sam Yahel's latest release from NAXOS jazz should warm over more than a few advocates of the jazz organ trio format, as Mr. Yahel is seemingly on the move while staking his claim as an inventive modernist who also pays homage to convention. In The Blink Of An Eye captures that sentiment in unequivocal fashion... * * * '
Sam Yahel; Organ: Peter Bernstein; Guitar: Brian Blade; Drums: Kahlil Kwame Bell; Percussion (tracks 1 & 6)