Monday, August 1, 2016

SHM-CD Reissue of the Month - "Joe Sample: Voices In The Rain"

SHM-CD of the Month
Joe Sample: "Voices In The Rain" (MCA) 1980/2016

*** (musical performance)
**** (sonic quality)

Produced by Wilton Felder, Stix Hooper & Joe Sample
Arranged & Conducted by Joe Sample
Recorded 1980 @ Britannia Studios, Hollywood, California.
Mixed @ Producers Workshop, Hollywood, California.

Featuring: Joe Sample (acoustic piano, Fender Rhodes electric piano, synthesizers), Abe Laboriel (electric bass), Ray Brown (bass), Stix Hooper (drums), Paulinho da Costa (percussion), Dean Parks & John Collins (guitar), Nika Rejto (flute), L. Subramaniam (violin), Jerry Hey (trumpet & flugelhorn), Flora Purim, Josie James & Pauline Wilson (vocals)

Crusaders' keyboardist and founder, the late Joe Sample, goes solo, funk and romantically mellow in this solo effort recorded during the group commercial heyday, after the mega-hit "Street Life."

Sample goes from soft funk ("Greener Grass," with a lovely Rhodes solo) to a heavy funk-samba ("Burnin' Up The Carnival" with lead vocals by Josie James and background effects by Flora Purim.) From the softly romantic title track ("Voices In The Rain") to the super mellow mood of "Sonata In Solitude," evoking Liberace's extravaganza on "Eye Of The Hurricane."

Actually, I never got the idea of Sample's direction on this album. A jazz-funk master trying to conquer easy listening audiences? It doesn't makes any sense.

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