2 LPs on 1 CD Both from 1961 Historically, The Jazz Crusaders were a nucleus of four in search of a bass player. Wayne Henderson, Wilton Felder, Joe Sample and Stix Hooper, were working together in various bands since their junior high school days in Houston, Texas circa 1953. After leaving Texas and settling in Los Angeles, they made their first album, Freedom Sound, in 1961, and started musicians and critics talking about the aggressive new group from Texas, firmly rooted in tradition and growing inevitably from the blues. Tenor saxophonist Felder, their major solo voice, is heavily in that David Newman-James Clay-Curtis Amy Texas groove. A very fast terminal vibrato lends excitement to his playing. Hendersons trombone was generally in the J.J. Johnson tradition but with just the right hint of raucousness to provide Felder the proper complement. Samples playing is florid but well-constructed and on the way to achieving an identity. Hooper, the nominal group leader, a tasty swinging drummer, provides a solid rhythmic base together with bassist Jimmy Bond. Guitarist Roy Gaines, who is in some of the tracks, and Bond, were not regulars but joined in for the dates. The second album, Lookin Ahead, definitely shows that The Jazz Crusaders were not merely a group of upstart youngsters blowing a library of well-arranged tunes, but a unit that brought a remarkable degree of maturity and ensemble rapport to their collective playing.
|Brand||American Jazz Classics|
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