Joe Sample, a composer and keyboard player who connected the world of jazz to many other musical traditions, has died at age 75. He died in his hometown of Houston. Sample was a founder of the band the Jazz Crusaders; he also reportedly played with musicians from Miles Davis and B.B. King to Steely Dan and the Supremes.
Sample was known for smoothly incorporating elements of soul and funk into jazz, along with gospel, Latin, and the blues. But what made his genre-bending possible was a dexterity and creativity that also made him unique among pianists.