Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Friday, 29 March 2013 07:46

Concert review and set list: The Joe Sample Trio shares a night of music and stories at Jazz at the Bistro, Wednesday, March 29

Joe Sample at Jazz at the Bistro Joe Sample at Jazz at the Bistro Wil Wander
Written by Wil Wander
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Jazz is an experience. From composition to performance, the unbridled format allows creator and musician to connect with the world around him in a stream of expression, and the Joe Sample Trio embodies the very essence of this process.

Through performance and anecdote, each and every member of the audience and band on stage shared an almost intimate familiarity with the passions and life of this now legendary innovator.

As part of a four-night stay at Jazz at the Bistro, the Joe Sample Trio performed a set comprised largely of Sample's own compositions, each accompanied by an amusing story about his own life and the world of music that inspired each song. From the birth of the Jazz Crusaders as they recorded "Freedom Sound" at Pacific Jazz Records in 1961, through years of disillusionment with the corporate takeover of the music industry, to the not-so-simple decision of where to settle down at this point in a career stretching well over the half-century mark, Joe Sample shared his life through music with the well engaged crowd of this small venue.

Opening with "Spellbound," members of the audience immediately cheered and clapped in recognition as they picked out the familiar licks in the intro. The song selection throughout the night highlighted many of the most popular and crowd-pleasing pieces from Sample's repertoire, including the classic standard "Stormy Weather" and Erroll Garner's timeless "Misty" in addition to his own arrangements from across many eras in his career. They closed out the set with the groove based strut "Street Life," leaving the crowd with the brightest of moods to take home with them.

Sample had a delicate touch and was the example of finesse as he played the full-sized Steinway that encompassed most of the moderately sized stage. His fingers fluttered and shuffled across the keys, effortlessly creating a blend of scripted phrases and improvised alterations that flowed without hesitation. Leading the band's intensity with every chord, Sample's touch came purely from his fingers without any need to exert the full body on the keys. In an uncommon break from this delicate touch, one solo included a series of aggressive palm slides up the keys with his left hand, stopped abruptly in a collision with his right, but throughout the evening, even the most forceful hits and chords didn't stir the serenity and joy that Sample embodied as he played.

Joining him at the center of the stage was a man that looked strangely familiar playing a modern styled, stand-up bass. During one of his many stories, Joe Sample recalled that the Jazz Crusaders were constantly challenged by the absence of a true bassist in the group. To rectify that problem, he joked of always whispering "play the bass" into his son's ears while growing up, which quickly explained just why that bassist looked so familiar. His son, Nicklas Sample, was skilled and thoroughly adept at playing with his father. Even during his solos, he adopted a very modest role, but certainly didn't fail to impress. Often, Nicklas was locked onto his father, reading him for cues and chord changes, but when the songs took a groovier turn in style, he visibly connected himself to the music, reacting with his body and face.

The final member was Joel Taylor on the drums. Taylor played with a very balanced style, never giving one particular sound or rhythm focus for too long and constantly incorporating all the elements of his drum set. In addition to standard sticks and brushes, he seemed to favor bundles of small sticks taped together tightly during his more active segments. His drum selection was fairly basic, but had a much more creative cymbal set-up that constantly added lingering ambience to the rhythms. One particular cymbal stood out, using loose metal pieces hanging from drilled holes to create a shimmering sound that resembled the rush of a rain stick. 

In this trio, it was clear that Joe Sample was the leader while the other two followed his cues, but at the expert hands of the veteran, the musical journey was well piloted. Even after a single set, the fortunate patrons of the bistro could all leave feeling like they had made a new friend named Joe Sample.



 Set list (second set):


Spellbound
Stormy Weather
Freedom Sound
A Long Way From Home
Ashes to Ashes
One on One
Misty
Street Life

All photos by Wil Wander.

Upcoming Concerts

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

Local Artist Spotlight


Karate Bikini - A Simpler Sugar

Wed November 26
Karate Bikini is an eight piece ensemble who's members hail from St. Louis and the metro area. They are a large band with a large sound. Their latest album A Simpler Sugar is full of upbeat pop songs,…

88.1 KDHX Shows

m-mix.jpg

KDHX Recommends

January
Saturday
17

Recording Clinic with Patrick Crecelius

KDHX is proud to host a DIY mixing workshop for musicians at The Stage at KDHX. The clinic will be taught by Patrick Crecelius of Cedar Box Studio. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, his credits include such local artists as Ryan...


January
Sunday
18

88.1 KDHX Musical Merry-Go-Round Welcomes The Boogers

The Boogers are the brainchild of Dr. Paul Crowe. Fatherhood, a PhD in Developmental Psychology, and 20 years of sloggin' it in wretched clubs as a punk rocker - even opening for Dee Dee Ramone and Marky Ramone - formed Paul's...


February
Sunday
01

Discovery Series

The Discovery Series, a 10-event series spanning February to June, 2015, will not only bring you new music, but also music-focused interactive sessions that take a look at how music plays a role in our society. Each month the...


Get Answers!

If you have questions or need to contact KDHX, visit our answers portal at answers.kdhx.org.

Online Users

2 users and 8776 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook