Sam Rucker – Tell You Something

May 28, 2014

Saxman Sam Rucker, come on down! You’re the next prospective big performer on the contemporary jazz scene.  Truly an artist with finesse and character, Rucker steps out with hisSam Rucker sophomore release Tell You Something on the heels of his 2011 Heat From the Heavens debut. Mixing some tight hip hop tanginess with the tasty sauce of smooth and the inspirational and energetic touch of gospel, Rucker is looking for it all in one fell swoop…and he can easily get it all with material like that found on this masterfully produced album.

Working with the likes of Norman Connors, Bobby Lyle, Tom Browne, Alyson Williams, and Euge Groove (Euge is handling the mixing and mastering at his Groove House for this one), the saxman saunters through cover grooves like “Footsteps in the Dark,” “You Are My Starship,” and “Before I Let Go,” along with striking originals like the catchy, sassy mid-tempo lead and title track that immediately captures the essence of the man and his love for this music.  You can bet Sam Rucker is not a name you are likely to forget any time soon.

With a technique that is as smooth as silk and a sense of great melody that is instantly obvious, Rucker has ensured that you can easily settle in for a cozy groove from start to finish with this one. Just kick back and soar from one expressive track to another.

If my arm were twisted, I suppose I could single out a few of my faves here but, rest assured, this saxman has nailed it throughout this album. In addition to the lead and title track, there are the snappy “A Million Ways” (absolutely love the vocals of Sheila Johnson on this one), the totally effective cover of Conners’ romantic and melodic “You Are My Starship” (always one that calls for that moment with that special someone),  the inspirational “Be True 2 Who U R,” the movin’/shakin’ “Ain’t Nothing Like It” featuring the wonderful vocals of one Tonya L’bert,  and the compelling/calling “Brighter Day.” That’s merely for starters, my friends.

I’ve said it time and again: Artists like Sam Rucker are more than a breath of fresh air – they represent such incredible promise to this genre because they bring understanding, energy, a  genuine love for the music, and, of course, an abundance of soul. Let me tell you something: Big congrats are in order.  – Ronald Jackson