Joseph Leslie "Joe" Sample (February 1, 1939 – September 12, 2014) was an American pianist, keyboard player, and composer. He was one of the founding members of the Jazz Crusaders, the band which became simply the Crusaders in 1971, and remained a part of the group until its final album in 1991 (not including the 2003 reunion album Rural Renewal).
Beginning in the early 1980s, he enjoyed a successful solo career and guested on many recordings by other performers and groups, including Miles Davis, George Benson, Jimmy Witherspoon, B. B. King, Eric Clapton, Steely Dan, and the Supremes. Sample incorporated jazz, gospel, blues, Latin, and classical forms into his music.
On September 12, 2014, Sample died in Houston, Texas, of lung cancer at age 75.
The Road Less Traveled
Ashes to Ashes