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Rainbow Seeker

Joe Sample

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Album Review

Back in 1978 when this set was recorded, fusion (the mixture of jazz improvisation with rock rhythms) was declining. Keyboardist Joe Sample, best-known for his work with the Crusaders, was in the process of being one of the founders of "contemporary jazz," an idiom that has since solidified into smooth jazz. Sample emphasized catchy melodies, light funk rhythms, appealing chord changes and a pop sensibility. For this accessible release, Sample is joined by the late legendary guitarist Billy Rogers, bassist Pops Popwell, his old Crusaders drummer Stix Hooper, a horn section and several guest guitarists. All eight tunes (which include "Fly with the Wings of Love" and "Islands in the Rain") are by the leader, who is heard throughout in melodic form, setting up a variety of light grooves that serve as superior background music.

Biography

Born: February 01, 1939 in Houston, TX

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

One of the many jazzmen who started out playing hard bop but went electric during the fusion era, Joe Sample was, in the late '50s, a founding member of the Jazz Crusaders along with trombonist Wayne Henderson, tenor saxman Wilton Felder, and drummer Stix Hooper. The Crusaders' debt to Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers wasn't hard to miss — except that the L.A.-based unit had no trumpeter, and became known for its unique tenor/trombone front line. Sample, a hard-swinging player who could handle...
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Rainbow Seeker, Joe Sample
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