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Joe Sample: Collection

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Album Review

Because of the success he's enjoyed in the pop and R&B markets, critics have tended to dismiss Joe Sample's albums as a leader. But in fact, the keyboardist/pianist's work has often been imaginative and quite soulful. Despite the inclusion of a few throwaways — including the aimless "Woman, You're Driving Me Mad" — Collection isn't a bad introduction to his MCA Records output of the late '70s and early-to-mid-'80s. His playing is warm and intimate his playing is on "Carmel," "Sunrise," "Fly with the Wings of Love" and other poetic jazz-pop gems included on this 1991 compilation. The CD's greatest emphasis is on songs from Rainbow Seeker and Carmel, which is appropriate given that they are Joe Sample's strongest albums.

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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