Joe Sample dies at 75

So many classic recordings feature his signature keyboard and piano playing. His robust Fender Rhodes has graced the music of Joni Mitchell, Marvin Gaye, Steely Dan, Barbra Streisand, Michale Franks, or B.B. King.

But of course, his roots were planted in the early 60s when he founded the Jazz Crusaders with Wilton Felder, Wayne Henderson, and Stix Hooper who changed their name to The Crusaders a decade later.

Sample also started the career for singer Randy Crawford whose first couple of albums he produced and who was prominently featured on their greatest hits to date: the legendary „Street Life“ from 1979 which has become a classic and is still played all over up to this day.

Starting in the 70s, he also recorded a lot of fantastic albums under his own name.

After The Crusaders disbanded in 1987 (there was another reunion album a couple of years later which didn’t do anything), Sample and Crawford worked together again with a lot of appearances the world over. Usually, Sample started the evening with several of his own compositions, done in his inimitable, clear and funky Texas touch and telling stories from his early years in the suburbs of Houston, where he now died of complications from lung cancer with his family at his side.

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