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The Crusaders

Back in 1954, Houston pianist Joe Sample teamed up with high school friends tenor saxophonist Wilton Felder and drummer Stix Hooper to form the Swingsters. Within a short time, they were joined by trombonist Wayne Henderson, flutist Hubert Laws, and bassist Henry Wilson and the group became the Modern Jazz Sextet. With the move of Sample, Felder, Hooper, and Henderson to Los Angeles in 1960, the band (a quintet with the bass spot constantly changing) took on the name of the Jazz Crusaders. The following year they made their first recordings for Pacific Jazz and throughout the 1960s the group was a popular attraction, mixing together R&B and Memphis soul elements with hard bop; its trombone/tenor frontline became a trademark. By 1971, when all of the musicians were also busy with their own projects, it was decided to call the group simply the Crusaders so it would not be restricted to only playing jazz. After a few excellent albums during the early part of the decade (with guitarist Larry Carlton a strong asset), the group began to decline in quality. In 1975, the band's sound radically changed when Henderson departed to become a full-time producer. 1979's "Street Life" was a hit, but also a last hurrah. With Hooper's decision to leave in 1983, the group no longer sounded like the Crusaders and gradually disbanded. In the mid-'90s, Henderson and Felder had a reunion as the Crusaders but in reality only Joe Sample has had a strong solo career. ~ Scott Yanow
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Rural Renewal

1. Rural Renewal (feat. Eric Clapton)

2. Creepin' (feat. Eric Clapton)

3. Heartland

4. A Healing Coming On (feat. Donnie McClurkin & Sounds Of Blackness)

5. Sing The Song (feat. Donnie McClurkin)

6. Shotgun House Groove

7. The Territory

8. Greasy Spoon

9. Viva De Funk

10. Lazy Sundays

11. Goin' Home

x

Track List: Finest Hour

1. Stomp And Buck Dance

2. Chain Reaction

3. Free As The Wind

5. It Happens Everyday

6. Put It Where You Want It

7. Marcella's Dream

8. Street Life

9. Last Call

x

Track List: Priceless Jazz Collection

2. Marcella's Dream

4. Feeling Funky

5. Soul Shadows

6. Feel It

7. Carnival Of The Night

8. Serenity

x

Track List: Way Back Home

Disc 1

1. The Young Rabbits

4. Tough Talk

10. Thank You

12. Way Back Home

Disc 2

3. Sweet Revival

4. That's How I Feel

5. Three Children

6. Mosadi

10. A Message From The Inner City

11. A Search For Soul

Disc 3

2. Hard Times

4. Double Bubble

6. Lilies Of The Nile

7. When There's Love Around

8. A Ballad For Joe (Louis)

9. Whispering Pines

11. Creole

Disc 4

2. Sweet 'n' Sour

4. Spiral

6. Keep That Same Old Feeling

x

Track List: Healing The Wounds

1. Pessimisticism

2. Mercy, Mercy, Mercy

3. Little Things Mean A Lot

4. Cause We've Ended As Lovers

5. Shake Dance

6. Maputo

7. Healing The Wounds

8. Running Man

x

Track List: Rhapsody And Blues

1. Soul Shadows

2. Honky Tonk Struttin'

3. Elegant Evening

4. Rhapsody And Blues

5. Last Call

6. Sweet Gentle Love

x

Track List: Street Life

1. Street Life

2. My Lady

3. Rodeo Drive (High Steppin')

4. Carnival Of The Night

5. The Hustler

6. Night Faces

x

Track List: Free As The Wind

1. Free As The Wind

2. I Felt The Love

3. The Way We Was

4. Nite Crawler

5. Feel It

6. Sweet N' Sour

7. River Rat

8. It Happens Everyday

x

Track List: Chain Reaction

1. Creole

2. Chain Reaction

3. I Felt The Love

4. Mellow Out

5. Rainbow Visions

6. Hallucinate

7. Give It Up

8. Hot's It

9. Sugar Cane

10. Soul Caravan

x

Track List: Scratch

1. Scratch (live)

2. Eleanor Rigby (live)

3. Hard Times (live)

4. So Far Away

5. Way Back Home (live)

x

Track List: Southern Comfort

1. Stomp And Buck Dance

2. Greasy Spoon

3. Get On The Soul Ship (It's Sailing)

4. Super Stuff

5. Double Bubble

6. The Well's Gone Dry

7. Southern Comfort

8. Time Bomb

9. When There's Love Around

10. Lilies Of The Nile

11. Whispering Pines

12. A Ballad For Joe (Louis)

x

Track List: The 2nd Crusade

1. Don't Let It Get You Down

2. Take It Or Leave It

3. Gotta Get It On

4. Where There's A Will There's A Way

5. Look Beyond That Hill

6. Journey From Within

7. Ain't Gon' Change A Thing

8. A Message From The Inner City

9. A Search For Soul

10. No Place To Hide

11. Tomorrow Where Are You?

12. Tough Talk

13. Do You Remember When?

x

Track List: Crusaders 1

1. That's How I Feel

2. So Far Away

3. Put It Where You Want It

4. Mystique Blues

5. Full Moon

6. Sweet Revival

7. Mud Hole

8. It's Just Gotta Be That Way

9. Georgia Cottonfield

10. Shade Of Blues

11. Three Children

12. Mosadi

x

Track List: Pass The Plate

1. Pass The Plate

2. Young Rabbits

3. Listen And You'll See

4. Greasy Spoon

5. Treat Me Like Ya Treat Yaself

6. Goin' Down South

7. Love Can't Grow Where The Rain Won't Fall

x

Track List: Old Socks New Shoes - New Socks Old Shoes

1. Thank You

2. Funky Shuffle

3. Why Do You Laugh At Me?

4. Jackson!

5. Rainy Night In Gerorgia

6. Golden Slumbers

7. Jazz!

8. Time Has No Ending

9. Hard Times

10. Way Back Home

x

Track List: Those Southern Knights

1. Spiral

2. Keep That Same Old Feeling

3. My Mama Told Me So

4. Til' The Sun Shines

5. And Then There Was The Blues

6. Serenity

7. Feeling Funky

Comments

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Where are they now?...
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I can listen to this guy all day his music always make give u the same feeling mood
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Love thier " Scratch" LP, especially the Beatles cover Elenor Rigby
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philippepelu s o
known their music since the 70's and seen them in San Diego, what a class act! Great memories : )
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Each of these guys were true virtuosos of their instruments. Stix Hooper's compositions are awesome too. Check out Elegant Evening on his Many Hats cd.
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Not impressed at all by Scott Yanow's review. Free As The Wind (1977) was one of their best albums. Timeless perfection.
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Lilies if the Nile Amen bring it as should be played soulful grace yet the silky touch of elegance the crusaders a class act with the solos that personified themselves individually yet together a symphony of glorious artistic genius pass me some more of this please
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Scratch Eleanor rigby and so far away
Their best work in my opinion
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This Music has staying power over the years for sure!!
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This music have staying power over the years
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Whoever wrote this bio really doesn't like jazz. The Crusaders are one of the most prolific groups in the genre. Please ask for another assignment .
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Discovered The Crusaders on my first tour in Iraq. Thanks for the sanity.
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ebouler3
1st got n2 these boys n da early 70's. Havent let me down since. Cud listen 4eva!!
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After Vietnam a real life saver! (Chain reaction )
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nylesfrench7
Bossman

Beautiful tune. This Chain Reaction album is a definite classic.
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nylesfrench7
PEACE FRENCHY


Beautiful hornline on top of a BADASS groove. One of my favorites Albums, Chain Reaction.
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Crusaders one of the best
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Truly GREAT STUFF..Timel e s s material and in their own class! captainkirk
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saleshenry
RIP - Wilton Felder 9/27/2015; Joe Sample 9/12/2014; Wayne Big Daddy Henderson 4/5/2014.
One of the greatest groups and original fusion bands to come along. Definitely a gateway band that led me into my love of jazz. I still get chills when I hear then there were the blues from Southern Knights. That started me down the path I still follow. I saw them live in various forms over the years and actually just saw them a few years ago at the Jacksonville Jazz Festival on a reunion tour in 2012
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lame write up about one of the best groups of the 70’s. Influential and revered to this day, The Crusaders had a great sound and wonderful interplay amongst the musicians... even tho individually that were all great musicians, they are an example of the whole is greater than the parts.
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This is my anthem a search for soul at 16 I heard this music to this day just love every aspect thank you
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The BEST band ever from Young Rabbits to Streetlife and beyond #1 !!!!
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I grew up in the jazz crusaders, your were hip if you listened to group and every dressed the part. The nite clubs and concerts this group performed in late sixties in Ohio venue is a very priceless time of memory. Although some of the members have past on their melody of music sings so sweet in my heart and mine every time I hear their songs.
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Kinda new to jazz like this a whole lot maybe you all can turn me on to some artists to listen to
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This is my best of the best a search for soul put me on the road to jazz and beyond love the sycopating rythms joe samples arrangements are the best you will always live inside of me RIP the trombone never have I heard the smooth soulful solos that made me feel alive hmmmm good tasty
Each artists played their respective testimonials to the truth of jazz in each one of us
The crusaders were my fist live concert in the open air with my cute girl on my arm all night the splendor of the crusaders k
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Tipping the hat to Wilton Felder...May heaven be on a much better grove after his arrival there last week...
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True innovators of Jazz....
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mgottlieb5
So much grit, soul, and feel...much more substantive then the saccharin "smooth jazz" you hear today where everybody sounds like everybody else... Ya dig?
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I'll have get the music great sound!!!!!
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WOW.....This is some kinda Sax player...... .
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To say the Crusadors sound began to decline in quality is very misleading. Their live performances were incredible despite their not recording hits. It sounds like the writer of this bio took issue with the group dropping Jazz from their name to expand their sound and reach audiences outside of their jazz roots. Anybody that heard them at the Kook Jazz Festivals can attest to that.
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Jazz crusaders and Randy powerful...
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Outstanding players, and happy too! As a musician, you learn very quickly that seriously grooving music is always more than the sum of its parts. These guys are music maestros.
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YES!!!!! Creepin..... . easing into this weekend... THE CRUSADERS!!! !
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A toast to Joe Sample! Awesome Crusader.
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They have great music.
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I am so sad to learn that Joe Sample is no longer here. However, so fortunate to have enjoyed them live esp. with Randi Crawford while in college. Joe you are the best!!
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Rip Joe sample
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prmoore777
My Joe loved this song...Joe, miss you...
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Best group ever
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The AMAZING Crusaders!!! Three supremely talented musicians who infused Jazz with a sound all their own..... I had the privilege to hear them perform live and then recently to see Mr. Joe Sample perform solo he became as one with those eighty-eight keys..... R.I.P.
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the CURSADERS are the Beatels of JAZZ
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frontrunners to fusion, originators of smooth jazz, the (jazz) Crusaders created a lifetime of listening pleasure and enjoyment. RIP Joe Sample & Wayne Henderson. Continue on Stix & Wilton. Much Love...
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The Crusaders, and one timeless track after another; always a 'can't sit still' joy, and most especially with Diva Randy Crawford in 1979's "Street Life!" Love you all, and thank you for the precious collection, your legacy ya'll left . . .
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The Crusaders, a lifetime favorite; one 'can't sit still'
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There will never be another crew like the crusaders,pe r i o d
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The bio did not give them the credit they deserve. They brought Jazz to so many folk who would have otherwise never listen. I opened the door to Jazz for many of my friends by exposing them initially to the Crusaders. Three of my favorites: Mozart, Muddy Waters and the Crusaders.
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honeybee221
This bio is so dismissive of a great group; The Crusaders were wonderful. They were one of the first jazz crossovers into pop next to Ray Charles. They are true heroes of Jazz history.
Why is there no credit in the bio for the vocalist?... . . . R a n d y Crawford; one of the best female voices in jazz EVER!
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I felt in love ... Enough said.
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Big part of the sound track for house parties in high school :-)

Still love them and they bring back cool paces and faces!
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