The Crusaders

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This article is about the American jazz group. For other uses, see Crusader (disambiguation).
The Jazz Crusaders / The Crusaders
The Crusaders.jpg
The Crusaders in 1978
Background information
Origin Houston, Texas
Genres Jazz, jazz fusion, soul, pop
Years active 1952–present
Labels Pacific Jazz, ABC/Blue Thumb, MCA, GRP
Associated acts Arthur Adams, Randy Crawford
Website www.jazzcrusaders.com
Members Wilton Felder
Past members Joe Sample
Wayne Henderson
Stix Hooper
Larry Carlton
Robert Popwell

The Crusaders are an American music group popular in the early 1970s known for their amalgamated jazz, pop, and soul sound. Since 1961, more than forty albums have been credited to the group (some live and compilations), 19 of which were recorded under the name "The Jazz Crusaders" (1961–1970).[1]

History[edit]

In 1960, following the demise of a few short-lived Houston-based groups called The Swingsters and the Nite Hawks, Joe Sample (piano), Stix Hooper (drums), Wilton Felder (saxophone), and Wayne Henderson (trombone), relocated to Los Angeles, CA. After changing their name to "The Jazz Crusaders," the group signed with Pacific Jazz Records, where they would remain throughout the 1960s. Employing a two-manned front-line horn section (trombone and tenor saxophone), the group's sound was rooted in hard bop, with an emphasis on R&B and soul.

The group shortened their name to "The Crusaders" in 1971, and adopted a jazz-funk style</ref> Joe Sample died in Houston on September 12, 2014.[2]. They also incorporated the electric bass and electric guitar into their music. Bass guitarist Robert "Pops" Popwell and guitarist Larry Carlton joined the band, and featured on the group's albums throughout most of the 1970s. With this new style came increased crossover appeal, and the group's recordings started to appear on the Billboard pop charts. The height of the group's commercial success came with 1979's Street Life, with Randy Crawford as featured singer, which peaked at No. 18 on the pop album charts and the title track from the album made the Top 10 on the R&B chart and No. 36 on Billboard′s Hot 100 chart.

In 1975, following the release of their 28th album (their ninth as The Crusaders), Henderson left the group to pursue a full-time career as a producer. His departure created a void, permanently changing the character of the group. Another founding member, Hooper, left the group in 1983, thus signaling the end to the group's most popular period. Three more albums were recorded in the mid-1980s; however by the 1990s, The Crusaders, for the most part, had disbanded, with a comprehensive discography behind them.

The Crusaders performing at Knebworth Park, UK, as part of the Capitol Radio Jazz Festival, 1982

In 1991, The Crusaders (with Sample and Felder the only original members present) released Healing the Wounds. The album peaked at No. 1 on the Top Contemporary Jazz chart and No. 174 on the Billboard 200. The group did not release any more albums during the decade, as Sample focused on a solo career.

Henderson, who had left the group in 1975, revived the "Jazz Crusaders" moniker (despite Sample's objections) for 1995's Happy Again. The lineup for Happy Again included founding member Wilton Felder and former Crusaders guitarist Larry Carlton. The new Jazz Crusaders released a series of recordings in the late 1990s, but the music bore little resemblance to the acoustic, hard bop style of the original group, instead emphasizing synthesizers, sampling, electronics, and drum machines in the style of smooth jazz, rap music, or contemporary R&B.

In 2003, founding members Sample, Felder and Hooper revived The Crusaders and released Rural Renewal. Ray Parker Jr. and Eric Clapton played guitar on the album. That same year, the Henderson-led Jazz Crusaders released Soul Axess.

In April 2010, Joe Sample announced a reunion tour with Wayne Henderson and Wilton Felder (but not Stix Hooper) - the first reunion of these founding members of the Jazz Crusaders since 1974. Henderson died on April 5, 2014.[3] Joe Sample died in Houston on September 12, 2014.[4]

Discography[edit]

Albums as The Jazz Crusaders[edit]

Year Title Type Label Label-Nr
1961 Freedom Sound Studio Pacific Jazz ST-27
1962 Lookin' Ahead Studio Pacific Jazz ST-43
1962 The Jazz Crusaders at the Lighthouse Live Pacific Jazz ST-57
1963 Tough Talk Studio Pacific Jazz ST-68
1963 Heat Wave Studio Pacific Jazz ST-76
1963 Jazz Waltz (w. Les McCann) Studio Pacific Jazz ST-81
1964 Stretchin' Out Studio Pacific Jazz ST-83
1965 The Thing Studio Pacific Jazz ST-87
1965 Chile Con Soul Studio Pacific Jazz ST-20092
1966 Live at the Lighthouse '66 Live Pacific Jazz ST-20098
1966 Talk That Talk Studio Pacific Jazz ST-20106
1966 The Festival Album Live Pacific Jazz ST-20115
1967 Uh Huh Studio Pacific Jazz ST-20124
1968 Lighthouse '68 Live Pacific Jazz ST-20131
1968 Powerhouse Studio Pacific Jazz ST-20136
1969 Lighthouse '69 Live Pacific Jazz ST-20165
1970 Give Peace a Chance Studio Liberty LST-11005
1970 Old Socks, New Shoes Studio Chisa CS-804

Compilations as The Jazz Crusaders[edit]

Year Title Label Label-Nr
1969 The Best of the Jazz Crusaders World Pacific ST-20175
1973 Tough Talk Blue Note BN-LA170-G2
1975 The Young Rabbits Blue Note BN-LA530-H2
1980 Live Sides Blue Note LT-1046
1993 The Best Of Pacific Jazz CDP 077778928324
2005 The Pacific Jazz Quintet Studio Sessions Mosaic MD6-230

Albums as The Jazz Crusaders (Wayne Henderson & Wilton Felder)[edit]

Year Title Type Label Label-Nr
1995 Happy Again Studio Sin-Drome 9950322
1996 Louisiana Hot Sauce Studio Sin-Drome SD-8924
1998 Breakin' Da Rulz! Studio Indigo Blue 4634170792
2000 Power of Our Music - The Endangered Species

Cookin' Live, Wild In South Africa

Live Indigo Blue 1144790972
2003 Soul Axess Studio True Life Jazz
2006 Alive in South Africa Live (Reissue) True Life Jazz

Albums as The Crusaders[edit]

Year Title Type Label Label-Nr
1971 Pass the Plate Studio Chisa CS-813
1972 Hollywood Studio MoWest MW-118L
1972 1 Studio Blue Thumb BTS-6001
1973 The 2nd Crusade Studio Blue Thumb BTS-7000
1973 Unsung Heroes Studio Blue Thumb BTS-6007
1974 Scratch Live Blue Thumb BTS-6010
1974 Southern Comfort Studio Blue Thumb BTSY-9002
1975 Chain Reaction Studio Blue Thumb BTSD-6022
1976 Those Southern Knights Studio Blue Thumb BTSD-6024
1977 Free as the Wind Studio Blue Thumb BT-6029
1978 Images Studio Blue Thumb BA-6030
1979 Street Life Studio MCA
1980 Rhapsody and Blues Studio MCA MCAD-1662
1981 Ongaku Kai - Live in Japan Live Crusaders CRP-16002
1981 Standing Tall Studio MCA 5254
1982 Royal Jam Live MCA 2-9017
1984 Ghetto Blaster Studio MCA
1986 The Good and the Bad Times Studio MCA 5781
1988 Life in the Modern World Studio MCA 42168
1991 Healing the Wounds Studio GRP GRD-9638
2003 Rural Renewal Studio PRA/Verve
2004 Live in Japan 2003 (only released in Japan) Live PRA VACM-1252

Compilations as The Crusaders[edit]

Year Title Label Label-Nr
1973 At Their Best Motown M-796V1
1976 The Best of the Crusaders ABC Blue Thumb BTSY-6027
1987 The Vocal Album MCA 42057
1988 Sample a Decade Connoisseur VSOP-LP131 (UK)
1990 16 Original World Hits MCA 2292-56787-2 LZ (Germany)
1992 The Golden Years GRP GRD-3-5007
1994 Best of Best MCA MVCZ-15020 (Japan)
1994 And Beyond... Music Collection MCCD-163 (UK)
1994 Best Pickwick PWKS-4231 (UK)
1995 The Ultimate Compilation Nectar NTRCD035 (UK)
1995 The Greatest Crusade Calibre CLBCD-5501 (UK)
1995 The Ultimate Castle CCS-CD-420 (UK)
1995 Soul Shadows Connoisseur VSOP-CD-212 (UK)
1996 The Best of the Crusaders MCA MCBD-19528 (UK)
1996 Way Back Home Blue Thumb BTD-4-700
1998 Priceless Jazz Collection GRP GRD-9892
2000 The Crusaders' Finest Hour Verve 314-543-762-2 (US) / 543762-2 (Germany)
2003 Groove Crusade Blue Thumb 0731458994428 (UK)
2007 Gold Hip-O / Verve B0008268-02

Singles as The Nite Hawks[edit]

Year Title From album Label Label-Nr
1959 Chicken Grabber / Big Top (only on 45) Del-Fi 4122

Singles as The Night Hawks[edit]

Year Title From album Label Label-Nr
1961 Bunny Ride / Sweetie Lester (only on 45) Pacific Jazz X-352

Singles as The Jazz Crusaders[edit]

Year Title From album Label Label-Nr
1962 Tonight / Sinnin' Sam Lookin' Ahead Pacific Jazz X-340
1962 The Young Rabbits / Song of India Lookin' Ahead Pacific Jazz X-342
1962 Congolese Sermon / Weather Beat (only on 45) Pacific Jazz X-357
1963 No Name Samba / Tough Talk Tough Talk World Pacific X-371
1963 Turkish Black / Boopie Tough Talk World Pacific X-388
1963 Spanish Castles / Bluesette Jazz Waltz (w. Les McCann) World Pacific 406
1964 Heat Wave / On Broadway Heat Wave World Pacific 401
1964 I Remember Tomorrow / Long John Stretchin' Out World Pacific 412
1965 Tough Talk / The Thing The Thing World Pacific 77800
1965 Aqua Dulce / Soul Bourgeoisie Chile Con Soul World Pacific 77806
1966 Scratch / Uptight Talk That Talk Pacific Jazz 88125
1968 Ooga-Boo-Ga-Loo / Eleanor Rigby Lighthouse '68 Pacific Jazz 88144
1968 Hey Jude / Love and Peace Powerhouse Pacific Jazz 88146
1969 Get Back / Willie and Laura Mae Jones Lighthouse '69 Word Pacific Jazz 88153
1970 Way Back Home / Jackson Old Socks, New Shoes Chisa C-8010

Singles as The Crusaders[edit]

Year Title From album Label Label-Nr
1971 Pass the Plate / Greasy Spoon Pass the Plate Chisa C-8013
1972 Spanish Harlem / Papa Hooper's Barrelhouse Groove Hollywood MoWest MW-5025F
1972 Mosadi / Put It Where You Want It 1 Blue Thumb BTA-208
1972 So Far Away / That's How I Feel 1 Blue Thumb BTA-217
1973 Don't Let It Get You Down / Journey from Within Second Crusade Blue Thumb BTA-225
1973 That's How I Feel / Take It or Leave It 1 Blue Thumb BTA-232
1974 Lay It on the Line / Let's Boogie Unsung Heroes Blue Thumb BTA-245
1974 Scratch / Way Back Home Scratch Blue Thumb BTA-249
1974 Stomp and Buck Dance / A Ballad for Joe (Louis) Southern Comfort ABC Blue Thumb BTA-261
1975 Creole / I Felt The Love Chain Reaction ABC Blue Thumb BTA-267
1976 Keep That Same Old Feeling / Til' the Sun Shines Those Southern Knights ABC Blue Thumb BTA-269
1976 And Then There Was the Blues / Feeling Funky Those Southern Knights ABC Blue Thumb BTA-270
1977 Feel It / The Way We Was Free As The Wind ABC Blue Thumb BT-272
1977 Free as the Wind / The Way We Was Free as the Wind ABC Blue Thumb BTA-273
1978 Covert Action / Bajou Bottoms Images ABC Blue Thumb BT-278
1979 Street Life / The Hustler Street Life MCA 41052
1980 Soul Shadows / Sweet Gentle Love Rhapsody & Blues MCA 41295
1981 I'm So Glad I'm Standing Here Today / Standing Tall Standing Tall MCA 51177
1981 This Old World's Too Funky for Me / Standing Tall Standing Tall MCA 51222
1984 New Moves / Dead End Ghetto Blaster MCA 52365
1986 The Way It Goes / Good Times The Good and Bad Times MCA 52966
1988 A.C. (Alternating Currents) / Mullholland Nights Life in the Modern World MCA 53330

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Crusaders - Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 19 September 2014. 
  2. ^ "Soul City: The Alazing Jazz Crusaders". Houstonpress.com. Retrieved 23 October 2014. 
  3. ^ "Jazz legend Wayne Henderson dies at age 74 - SoulTracks - Soul Music Biographies, News and Reviews". Soultracks.com. Retrieved 19 September 2014. 
  4. ^ "Houston jazz great Joe Sample dies - Rant & Rave". Blog.chron.com. Retrieved 19 September 2014.