How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Joe Sample's latest release, The Song Lives On , is appropriately titled. One of the CD's finest attributes is the excellent song selection. The Peggy Lee classic "Fever" is tastefully covered here, and Sample's own "Street Life" is reprised again, but the remainder of the program is new, at least to my ears. Most of the tunes establish an emotional connection with the listener; they're beautiful, pensive, soulful, and often introspective. Titles such as "Living in Blue," "When Your Life Was Low," "When the World Turns Blue," and "Bitter Sweet" convey this theme. Vocalist Lalah Hathaway delivers heartfelt, expressive interpretations on over half of the program. She is a talent I'm looking forward to hearing more of in the future. Joe Sample, as usual, shines on piano with thoughtful, expressive, and sometimes understated solos. The entire CD abounds with good taste and class. (PRA/GRP GRD-9956)
Tracks:The Song Lives On; Fever; Come Along With Me; Living in Blue; Street Life; When Your Life Was Low; One Day I'll Fly Away; When the World Turns Blue; For All We Know; Bitter Sweet; A Long Way From Home. (56:42)
Joe Sample, piano and Fender Rhodes; Lalah Hathaway, vocals; Kirk Whalum, sax; David Delhomme, synthesizers; Michael Thompson, electric guitar; Jay Anderson, bass; Walfredo Reyes Jr., drums; Lenny Castro, percussion.