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Soul Shadows


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Audio CD, October 12, 2004
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Editorial Reviews

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As a founding member of the soul-jazz Crusaders, Houston-born pianist Joe Sample has been deemed a lightweight by some critics. On his first solo-piano CD, dedicated to the pioneering bandleader James Reese Europe, Sample demonstrates his jazz cred with a mastery of stride and ragtime. Save for reflective and expansive reprises of hits "Spellbound" and "Soul Shadows," Sample delves into early 20th Century pop and Tin Pan Alley standards. The supple, southern syncopations on Scott Joplin's "The Entertainer" and Jelly Roll Morton's sizzling "Shreveport Stomp" offer evidence of Sample's strong left hand and the elegance of his improvisations, mixing blues feeling, Creole rhythms, and elements of the European classics. One should not judge this artist by his smooth jazz cover. --Eugene Holley, Jr.

1. How You Gonna Keep 'Em Down On The Farm?
2. Ain't Misbehavin'
3. Avalon
4. Soul Shadows
5. I Got Rhythm
6. I Got It bad And That Ain't Good
7. Spellbound
8. It's A Sin To Tell A Lie
9. The Entertainer
10. Shreveport Stomp
11. Embraceable You
12. Jitterbug Waltz

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 12, 2004)
  • Original Release Date: 2004
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Verve
  • ASIN: B00030F9KS
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #366,307 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Loving Life on December 17, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I have been an avid Joe Sample fan for years. I was quite delighted and astounded by this CD. It is a BIG departure from the type of music that he is known for playing. I for one enjoyed it very much. Nowadays, music of all types is so "cookie-cutterish" that it is boring. Musicians no longer dare to stray from their comfort zone or should I say the Music execs and general buying public's comfort zone.

For me, this CD illustrates Joe Sample's true talent, creativity and genius. His rendention of Avalon is beyond words.

I appluaded Joe Sample for taking the dare and showing us "what he is truly made of"!!!!!!! I wish that more musicians would bare their souls as Joe Sample has.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By P. Masuda on December 25, 2004
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Yes, I too was totally shocked by Joe's departure from the

smooth jazz/fusion/soul/r&b style that has made him a legend

for the past 30 years or more!! However, I acquired a taste

for his completely fresh approach to ragtime, stride, and

early jazz classics! He is totally unpredictable in his

arrangements and interpretations of this standards. There

is no way you can listen and say, oh, yeah, lounge music,

I get the idea. You may even take some time to get used to

how he has treated these great tunes. But Joe has always

been an original, never a copier, and he is always thoughtful

and philosophical in his approach. I would love to see him

perform these songs live, I know it would be entertaining!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By T. Bekken on March 8, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Joe Sample has always been an accomplished musician, as a member of The Crudaders, or as a solo artist. However, many of his albums have been too slick for their own good, and not always cutting edge achievements. This solo piano record is just that; a stunning, cutting edge achievement. Sample takes old, worn-out material and reinvents the songs into something startlingly fresh, modern and fascinating. His stride style is reminiscent of the late Willie 'The Lion' Smith - fluent and easy, with just the right amount of swing and energy to make it totally commanding. His reworkings of warhorses like 'The Entertainer', 'It's a Sin To Tell a Lie', 'Avalon' etc bring these old standards into our time - and even further into the future. The whole disc proves that no music is too old or forever lost to the passing winds of fashion as long as somebody is willing to take it seriously and reinterpret it with the modern listener in mind.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alexander Tsesis on September 8, 2010
Format: Audio CD
What is truly remarkable about this collection is that Sample has taken well known tunes and given them a new interpretation. Even very well known pieces (e.g. Avalon, Jitterbug Waltz, and Embraceable You), sound fresh. The ability to reinterpret well-known compositions takes and incredible talent.

This is a calm and inspiring album; a pleasure to listen to either to discover new techniques to playing these pieces or simply to enjoy in the background at home. And the power of his hands! there's a high degree of energy throughout this CD, demonstrating Sample's passion for the music.
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