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ClassicsOnline Home » YAHEL, Sam: In the Blink of an Eye
Modern organ trio at its best
The organ trio sound has been around for quite some time now, and there has been a nice resurgence of this recently. Sam Yahel is a bright star on the organ, a player with a rather unique approach to the vocabulary and amazing technique. In the Blink of an Eye features amazing performances by Sam, Brain Blade and Peter Bernstein on a variety of material. Little Sunflower, the Freddie Hubbard song, has such a great feel to it, with a great solo by Yahel. Even the standards on this CD receive special treatment, especially the intro to Like Someone In Love, which the band proceeds to play in 5/4 time. Thoroughly enjoyable music, superbly recorded and a must listen.
By Glenn Astarita
All About Jazz
By Raoul Sullivan
Brian Blade (drums), Sam Yahel (Hammond B-3 organ), Peter Bernstein (guitar), Kahlil Kwame Bell (percussion)
"I have always found it difficult to talk about my own music. Words become clumsy and ineffective when I have to describe something which by its very nature must elude description. How does one explain the creative process, the birth of an idea, its progression from conception to fruition? I certainly can't."
- Sam Yahel, New York City, 99'
Sam Yahel might be stuck trying to describe his latest Naxos Jazz release, In The Blink Of An Eye, but he certainly let's his music do the talking... and the word is, it's one cool, laid-back vibe of indigo-shaded organ and guitar grooves. The CD was recorded over one night this past April in New York City. Helping Yahel put down his introspective but compelling slow-cook jams are virtuoso guitarist Peter Bernstein and drummer extraordinaire Brian Blade. Percussionist Kahlil Kwame Bell also lends further rhythmic support on two tracks.
On In the Blink Of An Eye, the trio has cut something really special - a soulful, melodic album that is intuitive and subtle. With every chord they put down, every solo improvised and every chorus they bridge, the group leaves its heartfelt imprint. Understated and urbane, Yahel and company refresh some timeless standards, while crafting original tunes that already sound like modern classics.
Whether it's Freddie Hubbard's neglected 'Little Sunflower,' McCoy Tyner's 'Inception' or Van Heusen and Burke's ballad 'Like Someone In Love,' Yahel provides them all with a fresh new twist. While on originals like Yahel's title track and Bernstein's 'Just A Thought,' they demonstrate compositions full of ideas and musicality.
The trio's familiarity with each other is revealed in the flawless comps and interaction. The three have played together backing a number of the New York scene's finest. In 1997, the trio recorded an album, Battle Cry, backing trumpeter Ryan Kisor for the Criss Cross label, as well as authoring another one on that label on their own simply called Trio.
Yahel arrived in New York in 1990 after living in Atlanta, Israel, Germany and Russia. He graduated from The New School for Social Research, Jazz and Performance program, where he now teaches. Along the way he¡¦s been developing with players like Eddie Henderson and Don Braden. In The Blink Of An Eye is his second Naxos Jazz release, following 1997's Searchin'.
Guitarist Peter Bernstein has solidified his reputation as one of the finest young guitar players around. Among the artists he has accompanied include Jimmy Cobb, Larry Goldings and Joshua Redman. Meanwhile, versatile drummer Brain Blade is known for more than jazz. Besides players like Redman, Kenny Garrett, Pat Metheny and fellow Naxos Jazz artist Donny McCaslin, Blade has played with Bob Dylan, Daniel Lanois and Joni Mitchell.
The three players come together beautifully on In The Blink Of An Eye. Hammond B3 organist Sam Yahel may still may not say much, but his music reveals more than could ever be described on paper. This is a recording that has to be heard.
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YAHEL, Sam: In the Blink of an Eye