Stephan Stuecklin | Basel, Switzerland | 03/10/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"All titles are well-crafted and cleanly executed, but for my taste they are somewhat too polished. I chose this CD because of Joe Sample's Crusaders past, but it isn't nearly as earthy as for example Scratch. In particular, the instrumental version of Street Life is disappointing and lacks originality. However, if you like easy listening with a funky touch, this album might well please you."
Ashes to ashes
Ronald Fernando Navarro Oviedo | San Pedro Sula,Honduras | 03/14/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I think this is one's of the best albums that I heard in my life.
The sound is clear,like cristal,like a cascade of delicious sounds."
A Smooth Survey of Joe Sample's Distinctive Style
P. Masuda | Encino, CA | 03/02/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For those not familiar with Joe Sample's briiliant and distinctive keyboard style, this collection is a smoother selection of his most popular compositions. I always prefer the original albums that these selections were taken from, and I highly recommend "Old Places, Old Faces" from which "Black and White" and "Hippies on a Corner" were derived, for his pared down and tasteful trio sound with bass and drums. If you like the fully orchestrated strings effect, the "Invitation" album is a gem, from which his interpretation of "Summertime" was taken. "Ashes to Ashes", "Road Less Travelled" are from his "Ashes to Ashes" album, which is probably more smooth jazz than anything else he has recorded. Street Life is priceless in its original recording with the vocals of Randy Crawford, and can be found on the Crusader's album of the same name, after all, the group was partially founded by Joe Sample and is indeed, the Joe Sample sound in its earlier making. It's hard to please everyone on a collection album, because the overall effect of the album is weakened in its attempt to cover all the versatility of style of the artist. But as a sampling of this keyboard master, I recommend to those who want an introduction to his world. Don't stop here, and check out "The Pecan Tree" while you are at it, as well as "Rural Renewal" which is Joe Sample's reunion album with the Crusaders. Down home meat and potatoes bluesy R&B, great grooves!!"
Sample an American Treasure
Jazzz | 04/18/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm not a piano player but this music makes me want to learn. There something magic about the chords and rhythms Joe weaves throughout his music. The song Spellbound is an excellent example of this. It's what got me excited about getting into Joe's music after the many years since buying 'Carmel'. Summertime is one of the most haunting renditions I've heard. There's really so much to recommend.
If you don't have any of Mr Sample's recordings, this is an excellent one to get. Each song is absolute gold. Beautifully and subtley executed by stellar performers like Abraham Laboriel, Steve Gadd, Paulinho De Costa. Listen and enjoy an American Musical Treasure. This music can be a springboard into other projects by Joe Sample. A truely special collection."
One of the piano masters
Denis | NJ, USA | 02/09/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I was familiar with most of the songs on this disc before I bought it, except Mystery Child, Summertime, and Black and White. I was especially moved by "Summertime" - Joe Sample plays it so beautifully with an excellent backing ensemble. Although these songs are all quite good, I'd recommend buying something other than "Best Of" because this is something pre-chosen for you, and you might like something better than "Best Of". There are very often overlooked pieces that don't make it to "Best Of" compilations, and this is certainly the case here. Try his Invitation disc."