Ages ago i heard a track by The Runaways called Summer Vacation. It's an absolutely great track that you should seek out, but the reason we’re talking about it when it’s not todays post is because it's a midtempo instrumental hip hop track built around a huge sample from today's choice:
Joe Sample – Melodies of Love
Funnily with it being pre-internet when I first heard it I never actually knew it was a Joe Sample track and actually stumbled onto it digging out the sample from "In All My Wildest Dreams" another track by him which is the one sampled for 2Pacs Dear Mama, and Arrested Developments – Africa's inside. If you've ever dug for samples you'll know that feeling of finally finding what you were seeking, and even better is when you flip a record you've had for a while over and stumble on something you didn't even know was there. This was the case with Melodies of Love.
Anyway, the track is one of my favourites of all time, it toes the line between just out and out Jazz, and Funk (not Jazz Funk I should point out), it's justa beautiful piece of soulful music, the slow build and piano and rhodes countering each other till the drums and strings come in…. … If you like Bob James (especially tracks like Angela) you'll love this.
It's also one of those rare tracks where i just can't make up my mind if i prefer the record version or when i see Sample do it live because of the emotion within his performances, so i'm going to post the original and my favourite live version from The 1985 Live under the Sky jazz festival in Japan. The live version takes a while to get going, with Sample improvising around the opening keys for almost two minutes until the main melody enters the fray, and when the bass and drums come in…. if you're impatient you can jump to around 1:44 of the live video and hear him in full flow.
Either way, it's a stunning and beautiful track, and when it came on my headphones this morning there was only ever going to be one winner..