Joe Sample – Carmel

Carmel-by-the-Sea serves as the inspiration for Joe Sample’s album Carmel, released in 1979, seven years before it would elect Clint Eastwood as its mayor. “A spectacular greeting of the land and sea,” and “symphony of life” with “a thousand love songs” inspires an album of great piano grooves that feature The Crusader’s Stix Hooper producing and playing drums. It sounds like early smooth jazz on some songs, a lot more than Street Life, which was amazingly also released the same year. But the musicians on Carmel are all terrific and have covered a lot of ground, making the album occasionally unpredictable but an impressive and enjoyable listen.

I also learned that Joe Sample and Stix Hooper lost a lost of recordings to the 2008 Universal Studios fire, and although much of the material is already digitized, the quality may never get better than what has already been released. Its worth the probably under $5 price you will find it for.