146

yaya: yaya

By

Sign in to view read count
yaya: yaya It is exceptionally rare for me to like every song on an album, but such is the case with yaya3, an album doomed to relative obscurity by the anonymity of its name. One might miss the small type on the back of the CD jewel case reading “Produced by Sam Yahel, Joshua Redman, and Brian Blade.” These gentlemen play instruments, too.

Yaya is Sam Yahel’s nickname, and the album features five of the organist’s fine tunes. His “Slow Orbit” begins the proceedings, at times mysterious and moody, at others swinging with vigor, with feel changes negotiated deftly by Blade. Yahel’s cogent solo is followed by an absolute gem by Redman, chock-full of crafty thematic development and exhilarating control of tension and release. Exceptional.

At his best, Redman flaunts perhaps the fastest reflexes in jazz, melding soulfulness and cleverness in real-time, giving meaning to the moment as only a true improviser can. At his worst, however, he spews sleazy, hackneyed blues over his adoring audiences. Yahel is not Redman’s equal as a soloist, but perhaps it is the intelligence of his soloing and his writing that provide the tenor saxophonist with the context to play his best.

One should not forget the kindred spirit that is drummer Brian Blade, with the careful hands to shape each piece into a beautiful, unique sculpture. He also contributes two compositions, including “The Spirit Lives On,” which builds to Coltranean celestial heights, only to dim too quickly by means of the most unfortunate fadeout. Other highlights include the dark modalities and bright swing of Yahel’s “Hometown” and some undulating earthiness from Redman in his bossa, “Two Remember, One Forgets;” who could forget a title like that?

One aside: I am disappointed that young guitarist Mike Moreno, who rehearsed with this band, did not make it onto the album. Moreno is an awe-inspiring player, and I can only hope that we will have the pleasure of hearing him on record soon.

Track Listing: 1. Slow Orbit 2. Switchblade 3. The Spirit Lives On 4. One More Once 5. Hometown 6. Aeolio 7. Two Remember, One Forgets 8. The Scribe 9. Confronting Our Fears

Personnel: Sam Yahel (Hamond B3 organ), Joshua Redman (tenor and soprano saxophones), Brian Blade (drums)

Title: yaya | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Loma Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Hallways CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read The Crave CD/LP/Track Review The Crave
by John Sharpe
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Chase The Light (Excursions in Soul, Reggae, Funk, and Dub) CD/LP/Track Review Chase The Light (Excursions in Soul, Reggae, Funk, and Dub)
by Joe Gatto
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Kickin' Child - The Lost Album 1965 CD/LP/Track Review Kickin' Child - The Lost Album 1965
by Doug Collette
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Towards Language CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017
Read "The Eastcote Studios Session" CD/LP/Track Review The Eastcote Studios Session
by John Eyles
Published: November 30, 2016
Read "Wet Paint" CD/LP/Track Review Wet Paint
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: November 15, 2016
Read "Stephan Crump's Rhombal" CD/LP/Track Review Stephan Crump's Rhombal
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 20, 2016
Read "Tipico" CD/LP/Track Review Tipico
by James Nadal
Published: January 12, 2017
Read "Trillium Falls" CD/LP/Track Review Trillium Falls
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 5, 2017
Read "OUTgoing" CD/LP/Track Review OUTgoing
by Budd Kopman
Published: January 31, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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