The Pecan Tree is a collection of 11 compositions from master pianist/composer Joe Sample that were inspired by his Southeast Texas roots and influences. As a founding member of the pioneering quartet the Jazz Crusaders and as a solo artist, the pianist has created an impressive musical style based upon his early appreciation for jazz, gospel, soul, bebop, blues, Latin, and classical music. The Pecan Tree features many of those musical genres performed with such special guests as Lenny Castro and Paulinho da Costa on percussion, renowned R&B vocalist Howard Hewett, and newcomer Lizz Wright. Sample's Quintet kicks off the set with the title track, a Latin-tinged mid-tempo instrumental that features Sample's beautiful melodicism in harmony with the percussive mastery of Lenny Castro. The ensemble brings their creativity ingenuity to "Hot and Humid," a sweltering musical story of the region's weather condition. You can literally feel the heat from Sample's fiery piano chops. The soulful voice of Howard Hewett on "With These Hands" also makes this CD entertaining. He envelopes the listener with his gospel-tinged R&B tenor and holds you spellbound throughout this lovely ballad with his powerful range and heartfelt lyricism. The Pecan Tree is an apt tribute in the form of choice songs that describe Sample's true essence as a great musical storyteller and ranks alongside his smash hit Carmel with respect to his ability to deliver musical metaphors through smart phrasing and compelling melodies that reflect local settings.
Performance CreditsJoe Sample Primary Artist,Piano
Howard Hewett Vocals
Jay Anderson Bass
Larry Aberman Drums
Lenny Castro Percussion
Paulinho Da Costa Percussion
James Gadson Drums
Dean Parks Guitar
Liz Wright Vocals
Lizz Wright Vocals
Peter Wolf Synthesizer
Technical CreditsJoe Sample Producer,Liner Notes
Bill Schnee Producer,Engineer
Bill Traylor Artwork,Cover Art
John Cabalka Art Direction
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Pecan Tree based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Really enjoyed this one! Howard Hewitt on vocals for "With These Hands" was super! Joe hits the mark with this CD.
What a terrific CD,My lady friend even loves it.I bought it after hearing X marks the spot,but the title track,Spanish moss,and El dorado are also great.Lizz Wright and the dynamic Howard Hewett makes this cd a must have.
Really enjoy this CD. Love Howard Hewitt singing "With these Hands". Whole CD velvety and smooth.
Joe Sample has brought us outstanding piano ensemble work for nearly 30 years ever since he pulled forward from the remarkable Crusaders who trademarked a brand of soulful jazz and funky grooves ahead of their time. This album contiues to deliver totally deep down soulful rhythm and blues grooves that have been the frame work for his lush impressionistic harmonies and concise charismatic keyboard solos which have marked his signature style all his fans have been in love with for years. His melodies are always lyrical, we feel we can just about write our own words to his song, that's how he holds our interest, by refusing to go above our heads as listeners. Now and then he brings in fine jazz vocalists to add that extra human touch to his presentation , and the offerings of Lizz Wright are a delight, her smoky vocals like a warm blanket that complements his down to earth grooves. This album reminds me of his other fine work - "Old Places, Old Faces", which is outstanding in its metaphorical ability to take us to the places he has been. Joe is a gifted musical storyteller, and we never lose interest.