148

Sam Yahel: Sam Yahel Trio

C. Andrew Hovan By

Sign in to view read count
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 '60s kingpins as Larry Young and "Big" John Patton.

As an apropos addition to Criss Cross Jazz's fine collection of organ dates led by luminary Melvin Rhyne and a few Peter Bernstein sets with Larry Goldings, The Sam Yahel Trio bears the signs of the several years that the orgainst led sessions with guitarist Bernstein at Smalls in New York's Greenwich Village. Then the trio did a Criss Cross side with trumpeter Ryan Kisor (Battle Cry) and it must have been evident to producer Gerry Teekens that the organist was ready for his own maiden voyage.

The trio heard here is one well-oiled machine that benefits greatly from Bernstein's Grant Green-inspired single note runs and Brian Blade's earthy drumming. In fact, those only familiar with the drummer's past work with Josh Redman and recent stint with Joni Mitchell will be surprised by his chameleon- like take on the standard organ trio format. Bernstein's own "Blues for Bulgaria" opens up the proceedings with a laid back feel that sets the tenor for the entire date. In other words, you won't find chunky, funky displays of chops nor will you hear the blues played ad nauseam or hear the customary "ice rink" vibrato set loose on a string of ballads. This music is about group interplay and contemporary structures and harmonies. The instrumentation hasn't dictated the material or approach, instead Yahel and company use their chosen format to explore a rich tapestry of modern sounds. In the end, it all adds up to a highly- appealing mix that never fails to please.


Track Listing: Blues for Bulgaria, Never Will I Marry, The Gambit, A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square, Isn't This My Music Around Me?, Gravy Waltz, Short Return, And Then Some (55:15)

Personnel: Sam Yahel- organ, Peter Bernstein- guitar, Brian Blade- drums

Title: Sam Yahel Trio | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Criss Cross


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read For the Love of You CD/LP/Track Review For the Love of You
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Recent Developments CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Triple Double CD/LP/Track Review Triple Double
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Agrima CD/LP/Track Review Agrima
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 21, 2017
Read The Study of Touch CD/LP/Track Review The Study of Touch
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 20, 2017
Read Another North CD/LP/Track Review Another North
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 19, 2017
Read "Beloved" CD/LP/Track Review Beloved
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: October 10, 2017
Read "Kucheza" CD/LP/Track Review Kucheza
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: January 1, 2017
Read "Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960" CD/LP/Track Review Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 29, 2017
Read "The Hive" CD/LP/Track Review The Hive
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 28, 2017
Read "Departure" CD/LP/Track Review Departure
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 26, 2017
Read "Days Are Not Days" CD/LP/Track Review Days Are Not Days
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 20, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.