Joe Sample legendary jazz pianist and one of the founding members of the Jazz Crusaders died in Houston, Texas (Friday) September 12, 2014, from complications from lung cancer. He was 75.
Joseph Leslie Sample was born in Houston, Texas on February 1, 1939. He learned to play the piano as early as five years old, later attending Texas Southern University to study music. There, he met drummer Stix Hooper, saxophonist Wilton Felder, and trombonist Wayne Henderson, and together they formed the legendary jazz-fusion group The Jazz Crusaders (later known as just The Crusaders). The group released over 40 albums before breaking up in the early 90s. Sample would go on to release over 15 albums as a solo artist.
Sample returned to his Houston area roots from Los Angeles. Believing the window of opportunity for a reunion was closing he reunited the Jazz Crusaders in 2011. And more recently he formed the Creole Joe Band, which found him picking up the accordion and returning to the zydeco music that inspired him to become a musician.
“Blues is like a white dust in the neighborhood from the oyster-shell streets,” he told the Houston Chronicle. “It’s a natural thing in this region. Certain things I can play with musicians from here that I cannot play with other musicians from Chicago or Seattle or Boston or New York. They simply do not feel it.”
Some of Sample’s works were featured on The Weather Channel’s “Local on the 8s” segments and his song “Rainbow Seeker.” The very popular “In All My Wildest Dreams,” also from the 1978 album “Rainbow Seeker,” was sampled on Tupac’s “Dear Mama,” De la Soul’s “WRMS’s Dedication to the Bitty” and Arrested Development’s “Africa’s Inside Me.”
Joe Sample is survived by his wife Yolanda and son Nicklas.
Information source: eurweb.com & Wikipedia
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