Pianist Joe Sample was best known as one of the founders of The Crusaders. But Sample also recorded solo albums beginning in the late 70s and continued that until his 2014 death. Sample was born Feb. 1, 1939 in Houston. He began playing piano at age five. The formation of what would eventually become The Crusaders came out of his high school band The Swingsters with Wilton Felder on sax and Nesbert "Stix" Hooper on drums. Then the band added Wayne Henderson on trombone. Eventually they called themselves The Jazz Crusaders and moved to Los Angeles in 1960. They became The Crusaders in 1971 and were very successful in the 70s. By the mid-70s, the individual members started to record solo. Sample got into the Los Angeles studio scene and appeared on recordings by Joni Mitchell, Marvin Gaye and others. Then he signed with Blue Thumb/ABC and released the album Rainbow Seeker in 1978. Carmel was released in 1979. The musicians are Dean Parks on guitar, Abraham Laboriel on bass, Stix Hooper on drums and Paulinho Da Costa on percussion. The other members of The Crusaders also recorded solo. But I think it's fair to say that Sample had the most success. When ABC was swallowed by MCA Records, Sample remained on MCA until he left for Warner Bros. in 1989. The Crusaders split up in 1987. This comp released by GRP in 1991 covers Sample's Blue Thumb and MCA albums. Sample continued to record and tour frequently with singer Randy Crawford until his death on Sept. 12, 2014 at age 75. Here's Joe Sample with Mike Manson on bass, Buddy Williams on drums and Lenny Castro on percussion performing Carmel at the Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery near Seattle.