Title - 'Redemption'
Artist - Sam Rucker
For those not in the know, Virginia-based saxophonist Sam Rucker's life and his musical journey have evolved in recent years, growing from a gritty hip hop producer into a soul-baring R&B-contemporary jazz instrumentalist, yet his faith has never wavered.
Indeed, Rucker has a unique musical recipe that is not just heard, but felt. This former hip-hop producer has developed a sound that is leaving a unique fingerprint on modern jazz.
As a saxophonist, Sam has performed with a multitude of renowned artists including Peter White, Euge Groove, Norman Connors, Cindy Bradley, Tom Browne, Ronnie Laws, Gerald Veasley, Phil Perry, Alyson Williams, and Ivan Neville.
Playing with various groups, Sam has opened for Will Downing, Norman Brown, Eric Benet, Ben Tankard, Black Sheep, Candi Staton, Ron Kenoly and more; he can also boast of three winning solo performances at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York.
Reflective of its title and the individual themes driving its soulful, engaging tracks, Sam Ruckerís emotionally compelling third album Redemption is powered by a deep spiritual vision of true soul survival.
1. 'Down On The Inside - Intro'
2. 'Down On The Inside'
3. 'True Llove'
5. 'Nothing's Too Hard'
7. 'Forever Forgiven'
8. 'Follow Me'
9. 'I Am With You
11. 'Please Child'
The versatile saxophonist begins his new musical journey with 'Down On The Inside - intro' before slipping seamlessly into the full version of the sensual track. Featuring the irresistible vocals of Wanda Jay, her Gospel-inspired approach a continual, delightful undercurrent here, next up is the first radio single, 'True Love,' one of my personal favorites on this album.
"First and foremost, 'True Love' is about the fact that despite all the mistakes I've made and how undeserving I am, God still loves me enough to redeem me and bless me with as much as he has," explains Rucker.
"For the listener, 'True Love' could be about life with a special someone. For me, it is really about the love of God, the only true love that holds no records of wrongs and never fails. If you look at your life, you'll see evidence of His love in what He has done for you."
"But, when you really get it and realize that it's Him and really receive His love, then there is a change in you that people will see. Hence the song's lyrics."
An album chock full of bright melodies and tight grooves, that's backed by both the foot-tappin' vibe of 'Overcomer' and the heart on the sleeve musings of 'Nothing's Too Hard.' The sultry mid-tempo title track is next and that's followed by the inspirational 'Forever Forgiven.'
Also featuring the vocals of Jay the soulful gem 'Follow Me' is up next. Even now at this two-thirds listening point, to my mind, the album is clearly on a dedicated path to wining the hearts of all that listen to it.
With Ruckerís previous works also being heavily infused with inspirational messages, Redemption fully pays forward everything that Rucker stands for and believes in. Indeed, the album then, sadly, rounds out with more cuts entwined with his faith and spirituality. Tracks such as the moving 'I Am With You,' the reflective 'Throwback,' and then finally comes the emotive 'Please Child.'
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