Reflective of its title and the individual themes driving its soulful, engaging tracks, Sam Rucker’s emotionally compelling third album REDEMPTION is powered by a deep spiritual vision of true soul survival. The versatile Virginia-based saxophonist uses bright melodies, tight grooves, and the occasional uplifting, gospel-flavored female vocals to enhance the musical praise and to count the blessings that saw the artist through the dark times. While Rucker’s previous works were infused with inspirational messages, his shift from featuring top guest stars on his previous album TELL YOU SOMETHING (Norman Connors, Bobby Lyle, Euge Groove, etc.) to carrying the emotional passion himself is indicative of the many emotional and creative breakthroughs he’s made over the past five years. REDEMPTION is as divinely inspired as Smooth Jazz gets!
“Sam Rucker has a genuine connection with the music and the audience. He plays with a passion that draws you in” – Norman Connors.
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. Sam’s talents are not limited to the saxophone. He has produced and written CDs for several artists, including gospel rapper Israel the Warrior, singer Tonya Smith-Williams and spoken word artists Slim and Blizz.
Sam’s first CD, entitled Heat from the Heavens, gives us an introduction to the formula of hip-hop grooves + jazz melodies + a splash of inspirational lyrics that so characterizes Sam as a player and person. The formula promises creativity and a unique expression that will leave Sam Rucker’s imprint on contemporary jazz.
Why WRIP - Ripped Radio Smooth Jazz? Well, I love the music. For me, it is the perfect mix to drive by, to think by, to work by, to play by, and to chill by. It inspires, soothes, and quiets the soul. Enjoy! - Ronnie J.