Pianist and composer Joe Sample, a founding member of the genre-crossing Jazz Crusaders who helped pioneer the electronic jazz-funk fusion style, has died. He was 75.

Sample died of complications due to lung cancer Friday evening at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, his manager, Patrick Rains, told the Associated Press on Saturday.

Sample was “a seminal figure in the transition from acoustic to electronic music in the jazz field in the late ’60s and early ’70s” with his band, Rains said. The group, which later called itself the Crusaders, became a successful crossover act with such hits as the 1979 single and album Street Life. A few years before that, they were the first instrumental band to tour with the Rolling Stones.

Read the complete article at USA Today.com.


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