• Remembering Joe Sample Feb. 1939 - Sept. 2014

    18 Sep 2014, 15:21 by LaMusicLovr

    Joe Sample, who became a jazz star in the 1960s as the pianist with the Jazz Crusaders and an even bigger star a decade later when he began playing electric keyboards and the group simplified its name to the Crusaders, died on Friday in Houston. He was 75.

    The cause was mesothelioma, said his manager, Patrick Rains.

    The Jazz Crusaders, who played the muscular, bluesy variation on bebop known as hard bop, had their roots in Houston, where Mr. Sample, the tenor saxophonist Wilton Felder and the drummer Nesbert Hooper (better known by the self-explanatory first name Stix) began performing together as the Swingsters while in high school.

    Mr. Sample met the trombonist Wayne Henderson at Texas Southern University and added him, the bassist Henry Wilson and the flutist Hubert Laws — who would soon achieve considerable fame on his own — to the group, which changed its name to the Modern Jazz Sextet.

    The band worked in the Houston area for several years but did not have much success until Mr. Sample, Mr. Felder, Mr. Hooper and Mr. Henderson moved to Los Angeles and changed their name to the Jazz Crusaders, a reference to the drummer Art Blakey’s seminal hard-bop ensemble, the Jazz Messengers.

    Their first album, “Freedom Sound,” released on the Pacific Jazz label in 1961, sold well, and they recorded prolifically for the rest of the decade, with all four members contributing compositions, while performing to enthusiastic audiences and critical praise.

    In the early 1970s, as the audience for jazz declined, the band underwent yet another name change, this one signifying a change in musical direction. Augmenting their sound with electric guitar and electric bass, with Mr. Sample playing mostly electric keyboards, the Jazz Crusaders became the Crusaders.

    Their first album under that name, “Crusaders 1,” featuring four compositions by Mr. Sample, was released on the Blue Thumb label in 1972.

    With a funkier sound, a new emphasis on danceable rhythms and the addition of pop songs by the Beatles and others to their repertoire, the Crusaders displeased many critics but greatly expanded their audience.

    For Mr. Sample, plugging in was not a big step. He had been fascinated by the electric piano since he saw Ray Charles playing one on television in the mid-1950s, and he had owned one since 1963.

    Nor did he have any problem crossing musical boundaries: Growing up in Houston he had listened to and enjoyed all kinds of music, including blues and country.

    “Unfortunately, in this country, there’s a lot of prejudice against the various forms of music,” Mr. Sample told The Los Angeles Times in 1985. “The jazz people hate the blues, the blues people hate rock, and the rock people hate jazz. But how can anyone hate music? We tend to not hate any form of music, so we blend it all together. And consequently, we’re always finding ourselves in big trouble with everybody.”

    They didn’t find themselves in much trouble with the record-buying public. The Crusaders had numerous hit albums and one Top 40 single, “Street Life,” which reached No. 36 on the Billboard pop chart in 1979. Mr. Sample wrote the music and Will Jennings wrote the lyrics, which were sung by Randy Crawford.

    By the time “Street Life” was recorded, Mr. Henderson had left the Crusaders to pursue a career as a producer. Mr. Hooper left in 1983. Mr. Sample and Mr. Felder continued to work together for a while, but by the late 1980s Mr. Sample was focusing on his solo career, which had begun with the 1969 trio album “Fancy Dance” and included mellow pop-jazz records like “Carmel” (1979).

    His later albums included the unaccompanied “Soul Shadows” (2004). His last album, “Children of the Sun,” is to be released this fall.

    He also maintained a busy career as a studio musician. Among the albums on which his keyboard work can be heard are Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On,” Joni Mitchell’s “Court and Spark” and “The Hissing of Summer Lawns,” Tina Turner’s “Private Dancer,” Steely Dan’s “Aja” and “Gaucho,” and several recordings by B. B. King.

    His music has been sampled on numerous hip-hop records, most notably Tupac Shakur’s “Dear Mama.”

    Joseph Leslie Sample was born on Feb. 1, 1939, in Houston, the fourth of five siblings, and began playing piano when he was 5.

    His survivors include his wife, Yolanda; his son, Nicklas, a jazz bassist with whom he occasionally performed; three stepsons, Jamerson III, Justin and Jordan Berry; six grandchildren; and a sister, Julia Goolsby.

    Mr. Sample’s fellow Crusader Mr. Henderson died in April.

    In recent years, Mr. Sample had worked with a reunited version of the Crusaders and led an ensemble called the Creole Joe Band, whose music was steeped in the lively Louisiana style known as zydeco. At his death he had been collaborating with Jonatha Brooke and Marc Mantell on a musical, “Quadroon,” which had a reading in July at the Ensemble Theater in Houston.

    Correction: September 18, 2014

    An obituary on Monday about the pianist Joe Sample misstated the year his album “Soul Shadows” was released. It was 2004, not 2008.

    Emma G. Fitzsimmons contributed reporting.

    A version of this article appears in print on September 15, 2014, on page D10 of the New York edition with the headline: Joe Sample, 75, Crusaders Pianist, Dies. Order Reprints|Today's Paper|Subscribe
  • Remembering Joan Rivers

    9 Sep 2014, 20:01 by puremusic4ever

    Remembering Joan Rivers

    JOAN RIVERS is an internationally renowned comedienne, Emmy-award-winning television talk-show host, Tony-award-nominated actress, bestselling author, playwright, screenwriter, film director, columnist, lecturer, syndicated radio host, jewelry designer, cosmetic-company entrepreneur, and red-carpet fashion laureate. Her continued relevance is made clear by her growing group of more than two million followers on Twitter and a successful web series. Above all, Joan is a proud mother and grandmother.

    An entertainment legend, Joan was the first woman to break the glass ceiling of Late Night Television. After she was chosen to be the only permanent guest host on The Tonight Show for three years, she then went on to become the first woman ever to host her own late night talk show, The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers on the Fox Network.
  • URL: Official Whitney Houston

    9 Aug 2014, 10:49 by puremusic4ever

  • (VIDEO) "Weird Al" Yankovic - Word Crimes

    26 Jul 2014, 18:18 by puremusic4ever

  • NEWS: Actor Robin Williams has died at 63

    11 Aug 2014, 23:39 by puremusic4ever

  • Remembering September 11, 2001

    11 Sep 2014, 12:58 by puremusic4ever

    Remembering September 11, 2001

    On this day in 2001, the city, the country, and the world united together in the face of unimaginable tragedy. Today, on the 13th anniversary of 9/11, we gather together once again to honor and remember the 2,983 men, women, and children who were killed in the attacks of 2001 and 1993. As part of the commemoration, please observe the following moments of silence:

    8:46 a.m.: Hijackers deliberately crash American Airlines Flight 11 into floors 93 through 99 of the North Tower.

    9:03 a.m.: Hijackers deliberately crash United Airlines Flight 175 into floors 77 through 85 of the South Tower.

    9:37 a.m.: Hijackers deliberately crash American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon.

    9:59 a.m.: The South Tower collapses.

    10:03 a.m.: After learning of the other attacks, passengers on United Airlines Flight 93 launch a counterattack on hijackers aboard their plane to try to seize control of the aircraft. In response, the hijackers crash the plane into an empty field near Shanksville, P.A.

    10:28 a.m.: The North Tower collapses.
  • Bobby Womack, 1944-2014

    3 Jul 2014, 05:26 by LaMusicLovr

    Bobby Womack, a colorful and highly influential R&B singer-songwriter who influenced artists from the Rolling Stones to Damon Albarn, has died. He was 70.

    Womack's publicist Sonya Kolowrat said Friday that the singer had died, but she could provide no other details. Womack was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease two years ago and overcame addiction and multiple health issues, including prostate cancer, to pull off a second act in his career.

    Womack performed recently at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival and seemed in good health and spirits. He had been scheduled to perform at multiple events across Europe in July and August.

    He told the BBC in 2013 the Alzheimer's diagnosis came after he began having difficulty remembering his songs and the names of people he had worked with.

    The soul singer cut a wide path through the music business as a performer and songwriter in his 50-year career. In 2009, Womack was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

    According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame website, Womack was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and sang gospel music at a young age.

    Under the influence of gospel and R&B legend Sam Cooke, Womack moved into secular music. In the early 1960s his group recorded "It's All Over Now," which was covered and by the Stones and became the band's first number-one hit.

    His songs have been recorded by multiple artists, and he played as a session musician in Memphis in the 1960s.

    Womack influenced many early rockers before fading from popular music for more than a decade. Albarn and XL Recordings president Richard Russell helped Womack regain his career with 2012 comeback album "The Bravest Man in the Universe."

    "I don't think he ever really thought that he would do anything again," Albarn said of Womack in March. "Watching his rehabilitation and watching his ability to confront new material and new challenges was nothing short of miraculous at the time, and he still today continues to battle his demons and his illness.

    But he's a beautiful person and when he opens his mouth and that voice comes out, it is something that is somehow touched by God."

    CHRIS TALBOTT, AP Music Writer

    AP Music Writer Mesfin Fekadu in New York contributed to this report.

    Copyright © 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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  • QUENTIN ELIAS - Obituary

    4 Apr 2014, 06:28 by Musicaddict1975


    As reprinted from THE NEW YORK TIMES

    ELIAS--Quentin. International Singer, Dancer, Actor, Model, passed on February 25th in his home on Staten Island, NY. Quentin is survived by his mother, Malika Zeggour, sister Nina Boileaux, and nephews Tristan Quentin Boileaux, Melville Elias Boileaux and Nicholas Roman Boileaux. Services Tuesday, March 4th 2014 at Redden Funeral Home, 325 W 14th St, NY, NY 10014.

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  • Black History Month 2014: Our Musical Heritage

    18 Feb 2014, 12:30 by puremusic4ever

    Over the weekend, I was visiting with a friend. We were listening to music and having a great time. As we were listening to a song by Natalie Cole, I had asked the teenagers present if they had ever heard the song. Of course, their response was "no". It was not the fact that they had not heard the song that shocked me, it was they had never heard of Natalie Cole. They had no clue of who Natalie Cole is or what she has done. In addition, they had never heard of her father, the great Nat King Cole.

    As African-Americans, we need to make sure we pass down our American Musical Heritage to our children and grand-children. It is amazing how many young people of other ethnicities know and love Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Queen, Janis Joplin, The Rolling Stones, and Barbra Streisand. We cannot allow our descendants to forget the contributions of Ella Fitzgerald, Sam Cooke, Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Michael Jackson, Thomas Whitfield, Danniebelle Hall, Luther Vandross, Whitney Houston, Count Basie, Billie Holiday, Nat King Cole, Minnie Riperton, or Donny Hathaway. It is OUR job to expose OUR children to OUR musical heritage.

    Since this is Black History Month 2014, I challenge all of my African-American brothers and sisters to expose your children to more than just popular music. Take the time to tell your children and grand-children about the music your parents and grand-parents played for you. Have them listen to Patti LaBelle, Teddy Pendergrass, Phyllis Hyman, The O'Jays, The Jones Girls, Billy Paul, The Stylistics, Jill Scott, Anita Baker, Peabo Bryson, Stephanie Mills, Jeffrey Osborne, The Emotions, Earth Wind & Fire, Jennifer Holliday, The Temptations, The Supremes, Mahalia Jackson, Rev. James Cleveland, Larnelle Harris, Babbie Mason, The Winans, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Sara Jordan Powell, Vernessa Mitchell, and Rance Allen. Expose them to Margaret Bell, Commissioned, Witness, Yolanda Harris-Stover, The Clark Sisters, Dianne Reeves, George Duke, Ramsey Lewis, George Benson, Jerry Butler, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, Everette Harp, Kirk Whalum, The 5th Dimension, Gloria Lynne, Wynton Marsalis, Kathleen Battle, and Grover Washington, Jr.

    Please take time to compile your list of great artists.

    Let's keep our musical heritage alive for generations to come.

    Respectfully and passionately submitted.
  • URL: Margaret Bell - Christmas With You

    27 Nov 2013, 19:05 by puremusic4ever