Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Friday, May 31, 2013

The Best of Joe Sample (1998)


A compilation of keyboardist Joe Sample's work on the Warner Bros. label between the years 1989-1997 that I purchased from a CD Exchange back in '08.  It focuses on his solo work instead of his earlier collaborations with The Jazz Crusaders.  It's safe, characteristic jazz fusion from the '90s with quality collaborators: Tommy LiPuma, George Duke, Steve Gadd, Marcus Miller, and, of course, Randy Crawford.  What sets this music apart from other smooth jazz releases of the time (other than Sample's fantastic technique) is its reliance on real instruments with real players; very little sequencing and no drum machines.  I particularly like the way Sample handles the Rhodes piano. Currently age 74, Sample still performs live occasionally.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: Did not chart

Tracks: nothing here requires active listening, but there's nothing worth skipping.  Top tracks include Viva De Funk, Spellbound, and a 1997 remake of Street Life, this time without vocals from Randy Crawford.  I've got the earlier (and, frankly, better) Top 40 version of that song on the Jackie Brown soundtrack, but originally became familiar with that rare groove via Herb Alpert's Rise album.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: None

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