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Sam Yahel: From Sun to Sun

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Sam Yahel made his name in jazz as an organist, notably on the excellent Truth and Beauty (Origin Records, 2009). In addition to a handful of well-received CDs under his own name, Yahel has worked his B3 Hammond magic on recordings by vocalist Norah Jones and saxophonist Joshua Redman. So it was something of a risk to return to his “original instrument," the piano, for Hometown (Posi-Tone Records, 2009), a piano trio set that opened with a nice take of John Lennon's “Jealous Guy," as well as covering Joao Gilberto's “Riversong" and Wayne Shorter's “United," and tunes by Thelonious Monk ...

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Sam Yahel Trio: New York, NY, July 17, 2011

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Sam Yahel Trio The Village Vanguard New York, NY July 17, 2011 The world has changed in numerous and startling ways since pianist Bill Evans recorded Sunday At The Village Vanguard (Riverside, 1961) a half century ago, but two things remain as consistent as the rising and setting of the sun: The Village Vanguard still presents the best that jazz has to offer, and boundary-pushing piano trios are still an important part of the mix that they choose to present. While pianist Sam Yahel's trio travels a path that's far different from that of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sam Yahel: Hometown

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Sam Yahel has made the grade. His signature Hammond B3 sound--appearing on both his own work and on recordings by Joshua Redman, Bill Frisell, and Norah Jones--has identified him as one of the players that will take Jimmy Smith's favorite instrument deep into the 21st century. So what does Yahel do on Hometown, his fifth disc as a leader? He puts the organ in the closet and does a piano-trio record, which believe it or not, is a good move.

Yahel is not unfamiliar with the piano; in fact, it was his original instrument. He considers himself to be “a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sam Yahel Trio: Truth and Beauty

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Sam Yahel's Hammond B3 organ has been paired with stars like Norah Jones, Madeleine Peyroux, Maceo Parker and Bill Frisell, but with his fourth album as a leader, the organist reveals his own voice. It's confident, clever and gleefully vibrant. With saxophonist Joshua Redman and drummer Brian Blade, two stars in their own right, Yahel has formed an album that hovers in the most supple, downy realm of jazz. The trio embarked on a musical expedition together several years ago with their collaborative group Yaya3 and Joshua Redman's Elastic Band, so they've already proven that they play well ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sam Yahel Trio: Truth and Beauty

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Much as organist Larry Goldings, guitarist Peter Bernstein and drummer Bill Stewart have worked together for many years--specific direction resting with the name heading the marquis--so, too, have keyboardist Sam Yahel, saxophonist Joshua Redman and drummer Brian Blade been working together under a variety of monikers over the past five years. Whether it's the cooperative Yaya3, Redman's Elastic Band or the Sam Yahel Trio, what differentiates each group is who chooses/contributes the material and, in the case of Redman's Elastic Band, a greater emphasis on electronics.

Yahel's stripped down organ-sax-drums trio of Truth and Beauty is closer in complexion to ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ben and Frank Perowsky with Sam Yahel: Bop on Pop

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Bop On Pop is a trio session that explores the bebop and hard bop roots of jazz from the ‘40s and ‘50s. The disc features Ben Perowsky on drums; Frank Perowsky, his father, on tenor saxophone and clarinet; and Sam Yahel on organ. The chosen songs are mainly standards associated with a few of the "founding fathers": Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Horace Silver - as well as a grateful nod to "pre-bopper" Fats Waller. The trio performed most of these songs during a gig last month at the Cornelia Street Café, where pianist Kevin Hays was a last-minute replacement for ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sam Yahel: In The Blink of An Eye

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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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sam Yahel: In The Blink of An Eye

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The Second Time. In The Blink of An Eye is organist Sam Yahel’s second release for Naxos Jazz, following up his critically recognized release Searchin’. A performer more in the mold of Larry Young rather than Jimmy Smith, Yahel further defines his light and unique style on this new recording.

The B-3 Tradition. When thinking of the Hammond B-3 organ, most listeners will turn to the organ-tenor or organ-guitar trios of the ‘50s and ‘60s, whose greatest proponent was (is) Jimmy Smith. The archetype of this music was the blues and Bebop standards, mostly hot, upbeat numbers. Sam Yahel represents ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sam Yahel: Sam Yahel Trio

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Following in the wake of the renewed interest in the funky sounds of the Hammond B-3 which was largely initiated by youngster Joey DeFransesco, there have been more and more organists willing to throw their hats in the ring. Arguably, the finest two recently have proven to be Larry Goldings and Sam Yahel. And while DeFransesco has never made it a secret that his main influence has always been Jimmy Smith (check out his new disc, The Champ, which is an outright tribute to the master), Goldings and Yahel specialize more in the harmonically-advanced and cooler approach preferred by such ...



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