Sam Rucker has mad skills and unlimited potential!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
If you take a walk down the smoother side of the contemporary instrumental jazz street then you will run into that overly crowded pack of saxophone players whose difference might be described as razor thin at best. The sophomore release from Sam Rucker certifies we have a new shooter in town whose differences are already noticeable and noteworthy. No programming, no over abundance of vocals that take away from the instrumental prowess of Rucker, and no smooth jazz. Taste is subjective and labels can be debated but Tell You Something is a contemporary jazz offering built around a soulful tip. I believe some might refer to the sound as chill.
Rucker has a warm full bodied sound with the control of someone with twice his experience. Don't get me wrong, Rucker along with the mixing talents of Euge Groove bring up the rhythm nuances of hip-hop and the emotional bent of gospel music to artfully lay down layers of flavor that keep Tell You Something interesting from open to close. "Be True 2 Who U R" is an inspiring original while covers including "Footsteps In The Dark" from the Isley Brothers and the classic Frankie Beverly tune "Before I Let Go" simply reinforce the soulful and soul filled roots of the young Rucker. In perusing the press information there is no doubt that Sam Rucker comes from a positive place, with some of his contemporaries this comes across as pretentious if not contrived depending upon the artist. After listening to Tell You Something the emotional quality of his music leaves little doubt that same Sam Rucker is as sincere as he is talented.
The musical pedigree here is most impressive having played with Peter White, Cindy Bradley, and Gerald Veasley. Bottom line...radio programmers should be killing themselves to play this release. Don't believe me? Go to www.samrucker.com and preview some for yourself.
Newcomers come and go, mostly go. Sam Rucker looks to be around for awhile.
Tracks: Tell You Something; Before I Let Go; A Million Ways; You Are My Starship; Be True 2 Who U R; Ain't Nothing Like It; Footsteps In The Dark; Brighter Day; No Other Way; Love's Melody; A Long Way To Go; Tell You Something (Album Version)