Joe Sample Spellbound
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- Released: October 25, 1990
- Originally Released: 1989
- Label: Warner Bros / Wea
- 1.Seven Years Of Good Luck
- 3.Somehow Our Love Survives
- 4.All God's Children
- 5.Leading Me Back To You
- 6.U Turn
- 7.Bones Jive
- 8.Luna En New York
- 10.Looking Glass
Personnel: Joe Sample (piano, synthesizer); Michael Franks, Al Jarreau, Take 6 (vocals); Larry Williams (synthesizer); Michael Landau (guitar); Chuck Domanico (acoustic bass); Marcus Miller, Nathan East, John Pena (bass); Omar Hakim, John Robinson (drums); Lenny Castro (percussion); Robbie Buchanan (programming); Luis Chi-Sing, Fermin Garcia, Oscar Medina, Luis Mellado, Frank Giraldo, Lizzie Giraldo, Carlos Nunez, Carolina De Leon (background vocals).
Recorded at Power Station, New York, New York and Oceanway Studios & Schnee Studios, North Hollywood, California. Includes liner notes by Michael Franks.
Personnel: Joe Sample (piano, synthesizer, midi); Al Jarreau, Michael Franks, Take 6 (vocals); Michael Landau (guitar); Larry Williams , Robbie Buchanan (synthesizer); Chuck Domanico (acoustic bass); John "J.R." Robinson , Omar Hakim (drums); Lenny Castro (percussion); Luis Chi-Sing, Frank Giraldo, Lizzie Giraldo, Erika Mellado, Carlos N£¤ez (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Bill Schnee.
Liner Note Author: Michael Franks.
Recording information: Oceanway Studios, North Hollywood, CA; Power Station, New York, NY; Schnee Studios, North Hollywood, CA; The Hop, Sherman Oaks, CA; Willywood Sound, West Los Angeles, CA.
With the supremely funky rhythm section of Marcus Miller (bass), Lenny Castro (percussion) and Omar Hakim (drums) propelling his piano most of the way -- the other ringers on a few tracks aren't bad either -- you would think that Joe Sample couldn't miss on this solo outing, Spellbound. Indeed, his distinctive piano cannot be mistaken for anyone else's, free of the usual mainstream influences and always a pleasure to groove to. And yet there is something too comfortable, too settled, too automatic about the musicmaking here, as if the grooves are being smothered by a warm, snuggly electric blanket. Another problem is the material; not much leaps into your memory banks. Nor is it meant to, perhaps, since the gently sustained electronic textures suggest that this is, above all, high-class background music. Al Jarreau, Michael Franks and Take 6 -- all Warner Bros. signees, natch -- put in characteristic cameo vocal appearances on one track apiece, and a background choir sings "Luna en New York" in Spanish. ~ Richard S. Ginell