Pianist Joe Sample is a pioneer at creating melodic and accessible pop-jazz. His recordings of the 1970s and '80s were consistently popular, especially this best-seller. Sample is joined on most selections by fellow Crusader Stix Hooper on drums, electric bassist Abraham Laboriel, percussionist Paulinho Da Costa, and, often, guitarist Dean Parks. Flutist Hubert Laws guests on "Midnight and Mist." The memorable melodies, clean harmonics, and Sample's fine playing make Carmel a high point among his solo recordings. ~ Scott Yanow
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