Joe Sample/ Flickr user Tom.Beetz via Wikicommons
The next show will air on Sunday June 9, 2013 from 11 PM to 1 AM Eastern Standard Time on WBAI Radio
, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org
. This installment of “Suga’ In My Bowl” will feature an exclusive interview with pianist Joe Sample
, known to many from his work with The Jazz Crusaders
(later The Crusaders). You can hear a short preview below.
One of the many jazzmen who started out playing hard bop but went electric during the fusion era, Joe Sample was, in the late ’50s, a founding member of the Jazz Crusaders along with trombonist Wayne Henderson, tenor saxman Wilton Felder, and drummer Stix Hooper. The Crusaders’ debt to Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers wasn’t hard to miss — except that the L.A.-based unit had no trumpeter, and became known for its unique tenor/trombone front line. Sample, a hard-swinging player who could handle chordal and modal/scalar improvisation equally well, stuck to the acoustic piano during The Crusaders’ early years — but would place greater emphasis on electric keyboards when the band turned to jazz-funk in the early ’70s and dropped “Jazz” from its name. Though he’d recorded as a trio pianist on 1969’s Fancy Dance, 1978’s Rainbow Seeker was often described as his first album as a leader. In contrast to the gritty music The Crusaders became known for, Sample’s own albums on MCA and, later, Warner Bros. and PRA have generally favored a very lyrical and introspective jazz-pop approach.