RIP Joe Sample

We lost anotheCrusaders_T_Street_Life_N1979Yr jazz giant – keyboardist Joe Sample, probably best known for his leadership of the Jazz Crusaders.  The New York Times features a wonderful overview of his work and influence in the September 14 edition.  I remember roaming a flew market close to my hometown in Germany in 1985 and picking up two records, one by bassist Michael Urbaniak and the other one “Street Life” by the Crusaders.  My interest in jazz was still fresh and I had just joined a fusion band named Bubblegun led by my soon-to-be boyfriend Peter Kienle.  I was thirsty for anything that had the word jazz attached to it as I wanted to learn as fast as possible and keep up with the guys in the band who seemed to be light years ahead of me.  Unfortunately, my college room mates didn’t share my interest in jazz at all and my records rarely earned the honor of communal listening during dinner time.  But that evening, after my return from the market, I put on Street Life and dinner time turned into a party sing-along.  We all fell in love with the record, playing it over and over, singing and dancing along to it night after night.  My involvement in the jazz community now became cool and the boundaries were lifted.  Thank you, Joe Sample, for breaking down barriers with your honest, soulful, groovy, and sophisticated music – we will keep dancing and singing to it.