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Spellbound

Joe Sample

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Album Review

With the supremely funky rhythm section of Marcus Miller (bass), Lenny Castro (percussion) and Omar Hakim (drums) propelling his piano most of the way — the other ringers on a few tracks aren't bad either — you would think that Joe Sample couldn't miss on this solo outing, Spellbound. Indeed, his distinctive piano cannot be mistaken for anyone else's, free of the usual mainstream influences and always a pleasure to groove to. And yet there is something too comfortable, too settled, too automatic about the musicmaking here, as if the grooves are being smothered by a warm, snuggly electric blanket. Another problem is the material; not much leaps into your memory banks. Nor is it meant to, perhaps, since the gently sustained electronic textures suggest that this is, above all, high-class background music. Al Jarreau, Michael Franks and Take 6 — all Warner Bros. signees, natch — put in characteristic cameo vocal appearances on one track apiece, and a background choir sings "Luna en New York" in Spanish. ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi

Biography

Born: 01 February 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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Spellbound, Joe Sample
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  • 10,50 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Smooth Jazz, Crossover Jazz
  • Released: 10 March 1989

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