The challenge for instrumentalists is to create a unique “voice.” Saxophonist Sam Rucker (www.SamRucker.com) makes himself standout from the bunch by tapping into his roots as a hip hop producer while incorporating his faith into his urban-jazz instrumentals. He preaches melodic messages of hope and inspiration on “Tell You Something,” his second album that will be released June 3 featuring contributions from R&B and contemporary jazz veterans Norman Connors, Bobby Lyle, Tom Browne and Alyson Williams on the disc mixed and mastered by Euge Groove. Order "Tell You Something" from amazon.com
Rucker speaks through soprano, tenor and alto sax on “Tell You Something,” which he produced along with writing or co-writing eight songs. The gritty urban set is chock full of meaty hip hop beats with Rucker’s organic and improvisational horn work reflecting his proclivity for jazz. Lilting harmonies as well as a few cuts that include a vocal chorus uplift like powerful affirmations revealing the artist’s innate ability to connect and communicate with or without words.The album is sandwiched by two versions of the title track – the first being entirely instrumental. Enlightened by a celestial vocal hook, the second take of “Tell You Something” is given the freedom to be an extended jazz jam nearly nine minutes long with Rucker bellowing through his tenor sax over a staccato beat. He revisits the classic party jam “Before I Left Go,” which parties just as hard presented as a festive instrumental that Rucker produced with Connors and includes the deft touch of keyboardist Lyle and surefire vocalist Williams. There’s an underlying message of divine gratitude on “A Million Ways” offered by Rucker’s gregarious alto sax over a rump-shaking beat with a vocal chorus. Rucker gives proper adieu on the lights-out co-production reboot of Connors’ signature tune “You Are My Starship” fortified by Browne’s classy trumpet. The first radio single, “Be True 2 Who U R” eases into the service before shaking the walls with a thundering soprano sax sermon. Hip hop heads can bounce along to “Ain’t Nothin’ Like It” that could keep the party raging and spotlights a fierce jazz guitar solo. Connors and Rucker combine again with the assistance of Williams on the timeless Isley Brothers’ “Footsteps in the Dark” adding a fresh spin just as seductive and satisfying as the original. On the stark street chronicler “Brighter Day,” Rucker wails on tenor sax and keyboards benefiting from the light of faith as sung in the hook. The radio-friendly “No Other Way” is one of many on the collection that beckon to be released as a single, serving as an apropos snap shot of Rucker’s original recipe: hip hop grooves + jazz melodies + a splash of inspiration. “Love’s Melody” issues sensuality along with the sentimentality of romance. Rucker’s compassionate soprano sax urgently guides the tale to salvation on “A Long Way to Go,” an engaging anthem of the streets wrought with tension.
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