Musician (7/96, pp.94-95) - "...Playing with more purpose, poise, and intelligence than on any album of his in recent memory, the pianist has constructed a musical tour through the people and events that shaped him as person and player..."
Personnel: Joe Sample (piano, Fender Rhodes); Charles Lloyd (tenor saxophone); Dean Parks (guitar); Jay Anderson (bass); Ralph Penland (drums); Lenny Castro (percussion).
Includes liner notes by Joe Sample.
The former Crusader acquits himself admirably on these ten original compositions. Much of OLD PLACES finds Sample settling comfortably into the niche he knows best: laid-back, West Coast groove-jazz. Sample is such a master of the style, though, that the tunes never sound tired or stale. He has the uncommon ability to suggest kinetic energy without relinquishing his easy, in-the-pocket feel.
Sample's accomplices in rhythm, bassist Jay Arden and drummer Ralph Penland, are with him every step of the way, providing graceful, muted colors to complement his warm melody lines. Percussionist Lenny Castro and tenor sax legend Charles Lloyd provide some contrast, contributing a few waves to the otherwise calm waters. Sample is a gifted melodist, capable of conjuring a variety of musical images. This is especially apparent in "Miles Of Blue (Blue Miles)," his evocation of the seminal trumpeter's cool period. Throughout OLD PLACES, Sample lets his eloquent musicality do the talking.
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