I missed this sad news last month. Either because it was not reported widely enough or because I was on holiday. So thanks to Record Collector magazine for bringing it to my attention. Joe Sample off of the Crusaders died of cancer aged 75 on 12th September. Whilst I am not a jazz aficionado I was a big jazz funk fan in my days as a soul boy in the late 70s. Soul Boy? You remember right? Peg trousers, billowy shirts or jumpers and on some occasions plastic sandals!
As far as jazz funk goes in my own musical history Joe Sample was a giant and as keyboard and piano player with the Crusaders he was a big hero. Many of you remember the Crusaders big 1979 UK hit “Street Life” with vocals from Randy Crawford. But my liking for the band goes back a little further than that to tunes like “Keep That Same Old Feeling” and “Stomp And Buck Dance” from 1976 and 1974 respectively. ‘Free As The Wind‘ and ‘Chain Reaction’ were also really great albums. I also used to won a couple of Joe’s solo albums too; ‘The Three’ and ‘Rainbow Seeker‘
My thoughts go out to Joe’s family, friends and fans. Joseph Leslie ‘Joe’ Sample RIP.