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Album Review

A luscious outing from piano great Joe Sample, this disc includes beautiful interpretations of ten standards and near standards. Featuring plush orchestral arrangements by Dale Oehler wrapped over and around Sample's piano trio, Invitation is simply one of the loveliest recordings of Sample's career. With a rhythm section made up of bassist Cecil McBee and drummer Victor Lewis, augmented by Lenny Castro on percussion, the music is of a piece from start to finish. Producer Tommy Lipuma has found a wonderful setting for Sample to show his gorgeous, acoustic piano stylings, and the orchestra feels like part of the trio instead of an add-on. When Sample uses synths, they are indistinguishable from the orchestra. Overall, a smooth, romantic, highly recommended recording.

Customer Reviews

A Thing of Rare Beauty

Invitation is lush and theatrical, smoky and sensational.
It evokes Winter and Christmas and coffee and snow.
It's romantic, rich and moving. A dinner and dessert in itself.
Dark chocolate for the ears. You'll enjoy and treasure it forever.

Timeless Brilliance!

I came across this album many years ago when it first came out. Just a young man working at a record store and a promotional copy was given to us from Warner Bros., and as i played it for the customers I immediately fell in love with this Lush & Lovely album! Elegant & Rich, I have been Hooked ever since! In this crazy world, it is a Balm for the Mind & Soul! It never fails to bring me Peace! Till This Day, I Am Hooked!! Thanks Joe!

Perfect Beauty!

No words can really describe the pure brilliance of the album. I bought this album back in the early 90's on cassette when I was a teen and to this day (well of course on iPad/iPhone and cd now) it is still a breathtaking, intriguing soothing flow of music running through your veins. I wish the was a part two to this album. I just love the writing and work put into this project. Every song is elegant, one after the other. Very glad to have experienced something this flawless in my life. Where are you Joe Sample?! We need more like this!!!!!!!!!!!


Born: February 1, 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 chordal...
Full Bio
Invitation, Joe Sample
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Customer Ratings

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