Sam Yahel Trio

Truth and Beauty | Origin
By ADAM GOLD  |  June 27, 2007
3.0 3.0 Stars
inside_SAM-YAHEL-TRIO---TRU
Sam Yahel’s expressive approach to the Hammond B3 organ has made him one of the most sought-after sidemen in jazz. He’s appeared on Norah Jones’s Come Away with Me and Madeleine Peyroux’s Half the Perfect World, toured with guitarist Bill Frisell, and supported tenor-saxophonist Joshua Redman in the backbeat-jazz-pioneering Elastic band. Truth and Beauty sees him reunited with Redman and fellow Elastic band drummer Brian Blade, and the trio’s synergy is as dynamic as ever. The opening title track could have appeared on 2002’s Elastic (Warner Bros.), with Blade’s colorful bop-rock drumming supporting punchy organ comps and a simple, catchy melody. But Yahel soon ventures into free jazz on a rendition of Ornette Coleman’s “Check Up” that’s as fragmented and impressionistic as the disc’s collage cover art. Woven among Yahel’s originals are a stark take on Paul Simon’s “Night Game” and a meditative solo performance of Gilberto Gil & João Donato’s “A Paz.” And Yahel is able to communicate a lot with the tweak of a few drawbars — his navigation of what fellow keyboardist Brad Mehldau calls in the liner notes the “sonic palette” of his instrument.
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