293

Joe Sample: The Pecan Tree

Mike Perciaccante By

Sign in to view read count
Wow! I don't think there is a better description for this new recording from Joe Sample. I truly believe that this is the best jazz CD that I have heard in the past year.

If you're a new listener to jazz, Sample is an accomplished composer, keyboardist and co-founder of the Crusaders. The Pecan Tree is his newest and quite possibly finest recording. For the Pecan Tree, Sample has ventured back to his roots, down to the city of his youth — Houston, Texas. It was in Houston that Sample first began playing piano — at age five.

The Pecan Tree is a CD of themes — all of them set in the deep south. The track titles each evoke the geographical atmosphere of Sample's hometown. With titles like "Hot & Humid," "The Texas Two Step," "X Marks the Spot (Marie Laveau)," "Spanish Moss," "El Dorado" and "The Pecan Tree," Sample transports the listener to the area west of the delta, a hot, humid cauldron that has created a musical stew. This stew was consumed heartily by Sample. He soaked up its very essence and fibre and ahs been serving it up to us, the public for over four decades.

The Pecan tree features seven stunning instrumental tracks, but is by no means an instrumental journey. Four superb tracks feature vocals. "With These Hands," an old R&B song is given a wonderful interpretation by ex-Shalamar vocalist Howard Hewett. Hewett also handles the vocals on "In A Heartbeat" a fantastic groove co-written by Sample's son Nicklas. This song has the hooks and feeling that could make it a number 1 pop hit. The remaining two vocal performances feature Lizz Wright, a singer just signed to the Verve label. Ms. Wright (who melodious voice will soon be heard across the land on the radio) provides the vocals on "Fool's Gold" and "No One but Myself to Blame" both of which feature music written by Sample and lyrics written by renowned singer/songwriter Jonathan Brooke.

For a trip to jazz heaven or if you're just trying to bring the local jazz club to your living room, sit back and listen to the smooth grooves of The Pecan Tree.


Track Listing: The Pecan Tree; Hot and Humid; No One But Myself to Blame; X Marks the Spot; Fool's Gold; Spanish Moss; In a Heartbeat; El Dorado; With These Hands; The Texas Two Step; Memories.

Personnel: Howard Hewett: vocals; Joe Sample: piano; Jay Anderson: bass; Larry Aberman: drums; Lenny Castro: percussion; Paulinho Da Costa : percussion; James Gadson : drums; Dean Parks: guitar; Liz Wright: vocals.

Title: The Pecan Tree | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Verve Music Group


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read ON Tour CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read On a Distant Shore CD/LP/Track Review On a Distant Shore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Signal 9 CD/LP/Track Review Signal 9
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 22, 2017
Read For the Love of You CD/LP/Track Review For the Love of You
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Recent Developments CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2017
Read "The Source" CD/LP/Track Review The Source
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 26, 2017
Read "What Time Is It?" CD/LP/Track Review What Time Is It?
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 6, 2017
Read "Salt Task" CD/LP/Track Review Salt Task
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 15, 2017
Read "Clockwise / The Music of Cedar Walton" CD/LP/Track Review Clockwise / The Music of Cedar Walton
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 11, 2017
Read "Invisible Touch At Taktlos Zurich" CD/LP/Track Review Invisible Touch At Taktlos Zurich
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 7, 2017
Read "First Set" CD/LP/Track Review First Set
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 29, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.