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Joe Sample

Born:

Joe Sample is a pianist of great energy, versatility, and enterprise. He has constantly sought out novel directions to express his ideas. Since his days with the Jazz Crusaders to his multiple solo efforts and countless sideman sessions, though never seeking the spotlight, is recognized by both his peers and the knowing public as a first class musical artist Born on February 1, 1939, in Houston, Texas, Joe Sample grew up in a fertile musical Creole neighborhood hearing zydeco and Louis Armstrong. He started playing the piano at age five, and he incorporated a range of local traditions into his music: jazz, gospel, blues, and even Latin and classical forms. In high school in the 1950s, Sample teamed up with two friends, saxophonist Wilton Felder and drummer Nesbert "Stix" Hooper, to form a group called the Swingsters

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Article: Profile

The Crusaders: A Retrospective

Read "The Crusaders: A Retrospective" reviewed by Jason Elias


With the esteemed jazz/funk/fusion band the Crusaders as a guide, one could trace the rise and fall of commercial jazz in all in many of its permutations. The core group that is the most recognized was founded in Texas and comprised Joe Sample (piano), Wilton Felder (tenor sax and bass), Stix Hooper (drums) and Wayne Henderson ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Donald Fagen: An Essential Top 10 Albums

Read "Donald Fagen: An Essential Top 10 Albums" reviewed by Peter Jones


Actually, the whole notion of a Donald Fagen Top Ten is tricky. Artists like Chet Baker made well over a hundred albums, whereas in half a century Fagen has only released 13 official studio albums, whether with Steely Dan or under his own name, along with a handful of live sets. The process of selecting the ...

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Article: Interview

Ramsey Lewis: Life is Good

Read "Ramsey Lewis: Life is Good" reviewed by Jacob Blickenstaff


Some jazz aficionados might characterize pianist Ramsey Lewis' music as a gateway into more serious jazz, as if popular Lewis albums like The In Crowd (Verve, 1965) were meant to lead novice listeners to saxophonist Ornette Coleman's The Shape of Jazz to Come (Atlantic, 1959). But Lewis' commercial successes should not be viewed as a liability ...

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Article: Album Review

Blue Muse: It Never Entered My Mind

Read "It Never Entered My Mind" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian


Blue Muse, the ensemble that tenor saxophonist Sarah Lee founded, plays mainstream jazz with elegance and vigor. The group's second recording, the delightful It Never Entered My Mind, is an engaging batch of standards crackling with vibrant spontaneity which highlights both the distinctive virtuosity and the combined artistry of the musicians involved. Pianist Horace ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Blue Note Records: Lost In Space: 20 Overlooked Classic Albums

Read "Blue Note Records: Lost In Space: 20 Overlooked Classic Albums" reviewed by Chris May


For anyone with a passion for Blue Note, it is hard to conceive of an album that has been “overlooked," let alone twenty of them. For connoisseurs of the most influential label in jazz history, the passion can be all consuming: if a dedicated collector does not have all the albums (yet), he or she will ...

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Article: Album Review

World Jazz Quintet: Live At QPAC Theatre

Read "Live At QPAC Theatre" reviewed by Troy Dostert


Although all the members of the World Jazz Quintet are New York-based, the group's name does evoke the global palette of its music. Led by pianist Francis Hon—who, on his trio outing Before Dawn (2018), worked within pop and classical idioms in addition to conventional jazz—the World Jazz Quintet incorporates traditional Asian folk musics and a ...

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Article: Take Five With...

Take Five with G. Thomas Allen

Read "Take Five with  G. Thomas Allen" reviewed by G. Thomas Allen


Meet G. Thomas Allen Redefining the career possibilities of his rare vocal category, generally tied to classical music, he takes his play in the world of modern jazz. Paying homage to the post-bop era, he offers a collection of songs with the aesthetics of R&B, blues and Gospel roots. Bridging genres with an undeniable melodic blend ...

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Article: Year in Review

Chris May's Best Releases of 2019

Read "Chris May's Best Releases of 2019" reviewed by Chris May


The world may be going to hell in a handcart, but the year has been full of uplifting jazz. Here are ten of the best albums--the first seven newly recorded, the final three reissued or recently unearthed. Each one is the coyote's cojones. Yazz Ahmed Polyhymnia Ropeadope The eagerly ...

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Article: Album Review

Eumir Deodato: Os Catedraticos 73

Read "Os Catedraticos 73" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki


In 1973, Eumir Deodato was riding high upon the GRAMMY® Award-winning success of “Also Sprach Zarathurstra (Theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey)," the Brazilian keyboardist's jazz-rock fusion take on Richard Strauss' classic, from his previous release Prelude (CTI, 1972). Deodato's next move, Os Catedráticos 73 doesn't mess with that successful formula but throws a ...


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