Jesse Van Ruller: Tear Jam


Tear Jam


Jesse Van Ruller (guitar)


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Jesse Van Ruller (guitar), Seamus Blake (tenor sax), Sam Yahel (organ), Bill Stewart (drums).

Composed by Jesse Van Ruller


Recorded: New York, October 19, 2005


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

In contrast to the large doses of “chicken grease” usually found on jazz organ recordings, “Tear Jam” is a plaintive jazz waltz with a warm and introspective beauty. Guitar virtuoso Jesse Van Ruller has a creamy texture to his tone. The music is carefully controlled and very delicate. The gifted organist Sam Yahel occasionally plays outside of the chord changes, but it always sounds like he has a plan to snake his way back inside. His lyrical solo starts with a series of short fragments, and then develops with more searching lines into a far-reaching and expressive treatise. Yahel doesn’t add too much bite here, but his fluid lines cut through easily. Yahel makes great use of the organ’s volume pedal, which makes his chords sway and swell as he guides the band’s groove.

Reviewer: David Tenenholtz

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