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The Song Lives On

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iTunes Review

This 1999 collaboration between 60-year-old pianist Joe Sample and 30-year-old vocalist Lalah Hathaway didn’t just bridge the generations—it renovated the idea of classic jazz music at a time when it'd become almost totally segregated from the world of R&B. Ten of the 12 songs here are Sample originals. He'd been drawing on R&B music since the '60s, when he played in The Jazz Crusaders. In fact, “Street Life” was originally done as a funk song in 1979, sung by Randy Crawford. While Crawford was sassy and gritty, Hathaway is deliberate and nourishing. Nothing about her is rushed or trite. She's wholly authentic, and her R&B pedigree gives these gentle jazz arrangements a depth that they might not otherwise have. Put “When Your Life Was Low,” “For All We Know,” or “One Day I’ll Fly Away” next to any slow jam from the past 20 years and see which song has more feeling and atmosphere. “Fever” was more than four decades old by the time Hathaway and Sample recorded their interpretation, but it’s got more heat in it than any sexed-up song from the '90s.

Customer Reviews

I Love It!!

My father and uncle are were jazz musicians before they both died. The one complaint they had against the genre was that the "smooth" jazz movement really wasn't jazz at all. This album I believe that they would've enjoyed. I totally adore Lalah's voice and treatment of each song. My favorite from her by far was 'Street Life', originally done by Sample with the Crusaders and Randy Crawford. While most remakes leave a bad taste in the mouth of the nostalgic, this one revitalizes a classic into almost a brand new song. The album quickly wisks me to a wonderful childhood memory. I'm at home, looking out the window as the rain falls. We're listening to Ray Brown, Cannonball Adderly and some early Bob James. 'One Day I'll Fly Away' really brings out the fun in Joe Sample's solo piano. The chords are dark, the piano is bright, encouraging. One of my top 3 favorite albums of all time.

Joe and Lalah...Together?!!! INCREDIBLE!!!

Buy this album and you won't be disappointed!!! I've been a fan of Joe Sample's work since Spellbound (I'm a young cat)...This album is the perfect relationship of great Jazz and the spellbinding voice of Lalah Hathaway. My fav's are 3 and 6-10. Joe's piano play is like a calm ocean and it's caressing breeze; Lalah voice just makes U want to fall in love with her from the word "GO", especially on song #9. Great album - this will always be my number one album by Joe S., with Invitation (Grammy winner, of course) being #2

"You Gimme Fever....."

Sassy, interpretative, sophisticated, wonderful clarity of diction on the part of Lalah. Joe and et al offer a stellar and understated performance, highly enjoyable role on the album. Brilliant - you should see me here in Qatar - searing desert heat - receiving bemused stares from onlooking drivers as I'm adding my harmony parts to 'Fever': playing off my iPod and iTrip. Lalah's take of 'Randy Crawford's' "Street Life" and "One Day I'll Fly Away" are fresh and she takes ownership of the songs (reminds of one Lizz Wright). Other favourites are "When The World Turns Blue" and "A Long Way From Home". Project similar to Gerald Albright and Will Downing's "Pleasures Of The Night". Get the 'Fever' too!


Born: February 1, 1939 in Houston, TX

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

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...
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The Song Lives On, Joe Sample
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