The Perfect Companion to The Festival Album - The Jazz Crusa
P. Masuda | Encino, CA | 07/24/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you have been trying to get a feel for this album from the
sample audio clips, you'll completely miss Joe's breathtaking
straight ahead jazz soloing since the clips never get to
those sections. Be ready for a surprise.
From Mike Hennesey's Notes within the album cover -
"On this album, recorded by Joe when the Crusaders were
still the Jazz Crusaders, there are no concessions to
rock music - and yet the music is totally accessible,
it is certainly not without its complexities, but it
is direct music played with powerful conviction and a
determined avoidance of superficiality."
Absolutely true. His soloing in every piece displays
lightening technique while remaining melodious and
catchy, his spontaneous chord punches and unexpected
harmonies reveal the funkiness of what would later
become a part of his trademark keyboard style.
Within it all you hear the influences of Fats Waller,
Art Tatum, Bud Powell, Oscar Peterson. His ideas are
adventurous but totally appealing, and the album
is a gem from the beginning to the end. DON'T PASS
THIS ONE UP!!"
A Serendipitous Find
Kurt Harding | Boerne TX | 10/14/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When I was scrolling recently through the listings here of Joe Sample recordings, I was amazed to see how many of his albums I had missed. This is one of several I had never heard of. Goes to show that you could never depend on even the most up-to-date music stores to keep up with everything issued!
This reissue of Fancy Dance dates from 1991, but apparently the original was recorded much earlier in Sweden. The liner notes and CD cover give no clue as to when except for a cryptic comment that it dates from the time when the Crusader's still called themselves The Jazz Crusaders.
I like the CD because it is a harbinger of some of the straight ahead jazz stylings Sample would adopt for many of his solo outings. Though Fancy Dance runs just under 40 minutes, it has the feel of an EP because just as you start to get into the music, its over. My favorites are the lyrical title cut and the swinging Svenska Flicka.
The CD comes with brief but informative liner notes. If you fancy the jazz piano style of Joe Sample and you missed Fancy Dance, you should try to add it to your collection while copies remain available. I bought a used copy from an amazon partner and am entirely satisfied with its value and its condition."