The Crusaders: It Happens Everyday

Track

It Happens Everyday

Group

The Crusaders

CD

The Golden Years (GRP Records GRD-3-5007)

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Musicians:

Joe Sample (keyboards), Larry Carlton (guitar),

Robert “Pops” Popwell (bass), Nesbert “Stix” Hooper (drums), Wilton Felder (tenor saxophone), Dean Parks (guitar), Arthur Adams (guitar), Ralph McDonald (percussion), strings uncredited

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Composed by Joe Sample

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Recorded: Hollywood CA, December 1976

The_crusaders-the_golden_years

Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

Joe Sample’s reputation as a preeminent smooth jazzer often obscures his tremendous abilities on the piano, which he plays in a uniquely graceful and funky way. Sample can also craft some compositions that are pleasingly mellifluous while being anything but lightweight. He really hit his stride in the latter department with “It Happens Everyday,” which was originally the closing number from The Crusaders’ classic platter Free As The Wind .

This winsome ballad begins with Sample alone rendering its main melody, a deeply idyllic one, and consisting of a series of linked phrases often punctuated by short flourishes. Even the bridge is a perfectly constructed and flows out naturally. The rest of the band and some superfluous strings soon join in, but this is Joe’s show all the way.

Sample’s trademark percussive but fluid style is on full display for his solo. His strong right hand pours out the passion in a brisk manner, but never quite overbearing. Above all, it’s done in the service of that knockout melody.

I first heard “It Happens Everyday” some thirty years ago and it still sounds just as fresh today after countless listens. The beauty of this tune transcends any debate over whether it’s smooth jazz, R&B jazz, or even straight jazz.

Reviewer: S. Victor Aaron

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