This week at ContemporaryJazz.com, we’re celebrating the music of contemporary jazz legend Joe Sample. Joe was born on Feb. 1, 1939 and passed on Sept. 12, 2014. He will not be forgotten as so much of his music will be with us always.
Tomorrow night, Tuesday, his music will be celebrated in his hometown of Houston. Everyone can watch a livestream of the music of Joe Sample on Facebook. India Arie, Ray Parker Jr., Bobby Lyle, Hubert Laws, and others will be at the House of Blues to pay tribute to Joe.
I’ve known Joe’s music since his debut album on Warner Bros., Spellbound. I would later go back and discover the Crusaders but that album had the full WB promotion, teaming his with the label’s vocalists Al Jarreau, Michael Franks, and Take 6. The rhythm section of Marcus Miller and Omar Hakim certainly added to the star power. But it was Joe’s sound, his very distinctive playing, that I remember the most.