There is some serious shaking going on in the studio here, and it appears the veteran Sample has found a great situation to let out his more aggressive edges. What must it be like to be a legend and try to somehow uncover a path you haven't driven on before? How can a cat like Sample top himself? It's always rewarding when a veteran artist twists expectations with a brand new sound, even if reaching into his past for the germ of the idea. Sample darts at the listener with a whole new, nonstop brass funk approach, allowing his all-star Soul Committee to lay down the grooves beneath his still plucky ivory spirit. Though Did You Feel That? cooks from start to finish, employing inventive rhythmic touches, simmering cool, and a flashy retro production style, it's sometimes too easy to compare the wild horn tandem of Oscar Brashear and Joel Peskin with old Sample cohorts Wilton Felder and Wayne Henderson. Sort of a Crusaders for the modern age. What shines through, however, is Sample's successful execution as a leader of a true ensemble, rather than just a slew of sessionaires. He takes some tasty solos, but makes sure that members of the Committee are allowed their own voices as they chime in with the Chairman of the Board. And just for the record, the other Committee members include drummer Steve Gadd, bassist Freddie Washington, guitarists Michael Landau and Arthur Adams, plus percussionist Lenny Castro. An added treat is the funky historical artwork, an Aaron Douglas painting called "Aspects of Negro Life" from "Slavery Through Reconstruction." It shows the joy of the culture, perfectly mirroring the excitement found on the album.
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AllMusic Review by Jonathan Widran