Following a long illness, Jackie Cain died Monday afternoon in her New Jersey home. She was 86. She and Roy Kral combined their talents in 1946. They incorporated the spirit of bebop in their work with Charlie Ventura’s sextet, capturing the public imagination with “East of Suez” and “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles.” Recorded with Ventura at a concert in Pasadena, California, in 1949, the records received widespread radio airplay in the days when that was still a route to jazz stardom. Following their marriage, the duo steadily gained popularity as Jackie and Roy, a collaboration that lasted until Kral’s death in 2002. The Ventura sextet also brought other young musicians to prominence. Here are Jackie and Roy in Pasadena with Ventura, tenor saxophone; Boots Mussulli, alto sax; Conte Candoli, trumpet; Bennie Green, trombone; Kenny O’Brien, bass; and Ed Shaughnessy, drums.
Jackie and Roy’s success as a team overshadowed Ms. Cain’s ability as a soloist. The purity of her voice, her flawless intonation, the intelligence and musicality of her phrasing, made her one of the finest jazz-oriented vocalists of her generation.
Private funeral services have been scheduled for pianist Joe Sample in Houston, Texas, on Saturday. He died of lung cancer in a Houston hospital on September 12 at the age of 75. There will be a wake and public viewing from 6 :00 to 9:00 p.m. on Saturday at the Our Mother of Mercy Church.
Sample’s career began in Houston, his home town, when he and friends formed a band at first called The Swingsters, then The Nighthawks. In 1961, when he was 22, it became The Jazz Crusaders. By 1972, the quintet had become increasingly oriented toward popular music and dropped the word Jazz from its name. They collaborated with Diana Ross, Joni Mitchell and Ray Charles, and toured with Charles Tom Scott’s L.A. Express and The Rolling Stones. As The Crusader’s pop audience grew, jazz listeners continued to cherish the band’s early work melding soul and funk elements with hard bop. From the Jazz Crusaders’ album recorded at The Lighthouse in 1968, here is Sample’s unorthodox setting of The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby.” The band: Sample, piano; Stix Hooper, drums; Buster Williams bass; Wilton Felder, tenor saxophone; and Wayne Henderson, trombone.