Tuesday, September 16, 2014

R.I.P.: Joe Sample

(born Joseph Leslie Sample on February 1st, 1939 in Houston, Texas; died on September 12, 2014 in Houston, TX)

So sad about the passing of Joe Sample, a music giant. A couple of weeks ago, during a dinner with my friend and ace guitarist Barry Finnerty (who recorded on the Crusaders' legendary album "Street Life"), I told him I was concerned with Joe's health. Now I feel totally devastated, since he was one of my heroes, and one of my favorite Fender Rhodes players (what he does on Hubert Laws' "Say It With Silence" is pure magic!) Not coincidentally, it was that album that, almost a decade later, led me to know Joe Sample in person. Both me and my wife in the 80s, singer Yana Purim, fell in love with Joe's tune "It Happens Everyday," recorded by Laws. She wrote English lyrics for it, we did a recording (with Alphonso Johnson on bass) during the sessions for her "Harvest Time" album, and then we needed Joe's approval for the lyrics. We met him at the backstage of the NY Blue Note, in April or May 1987. He was very very kind, read the lyrics carefully, listened to the recording twice, and said: "Perfect. Great job!" After that, I met him several times (the last one in Montreux) and he always was very amiable. Rest in Peace.

Services for Joe Sample:
Friday, September 19, 2014, 6:00pm-9:00pm, wake and viewing open to the general public, Our Mother of Mercy Church, 4000 Sumpter St., Houston, TX, 77020. Funeral services will be private.
In lieu of flowers, etc., the family asks to make donations to the Joe Sample Youth Organization, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit. Contributions can be made via paypal/credit card using the following link: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=QV5AUC3H6AGQL 
or via check to the following address: Joe Sample Youth Organization, P.O. Box 590254, Houston, TX 77259.

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