Born in 1939, Joe Sample is a lesser-known, but tremendously talented jazz pianist. He started his professional career by co-founding and playing with the Jazz Crusaders in the late 1950s; The Crusaders later dropped the "Jazz" portion of their name as the 1970s approached, becoming more of a jazz-funk "fusion" band, with Sample playing keyboards.

Sample got involved with other acts on the side, including the 1969 effort, Fancy Dance. In 1978, he put out Rainbow Seeker, which is considered by many to be the first album featuring him as a "front man".

Sample has continued to put out solo albums ever since, most of which generally explore lighter textures and the more mellow portions of the jazz spectrum. In 1997, he played with Eric Clapton and David Sanborn for a few dates during the European Jazz Festivals. Most recently, his 2002 effort, The Pecan Tree, has been receiving excellent reviews.

Some references in this writeup done with the assistance of Alex Henderson's profile of Joe Sample at

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