Wayne Henderson (tb), Wilton Felder (ts), Joe Sample (p), Roy Gaines (g), Jimmy Bond (b), Stix Hooper (d)
Reference: FSRCD 751
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.
01. The Geek (Felder) 5:37
02. M.J.S. Funk (Henderson) 5:56
03. Thats It (Felder) 4:43
04. Freedom Sound (Sample) 8:21
05. Theme from Exodus (Gold) 3:48
06. Coon (Henderson) 4:18
07. Song of India (Rimsky-Korsakov, Arranged by Joe Sample) 4:04
08. Big Hunk of Funk (Felder) 5:01
09. Tonight (Bernstein-Sondheim) 2:51
10. 507 Neyland (Henderson) 3:57
11. Till All Ends (Sample) 3:32
12. Tortoise and the Hare (Sample) 4:23
13. In A Dream (Henderson) 3:21
14. Sinnin Sam (Hooper) 4:40
15. The Young Rabbits (Henderson) 3:35
16. Weather Beat (Sample) 2:33 (*)
17. Congolese Sermon (Henderson) 3:48 (*)
(*) Bonus Tracks
Tracks #1-6, from the album "Freedom Sound" (Pacific Jazz ST-27)
Tracks #7-15, from the album "Lookin' Ahead" (Pacific Jazz ST-43)
Tracks #16 & 17, from Pacific Jazz 45rpm (X-357)
Personnel on "Freedom Sound":
Wayne Henderson (tb), Wilton Felder (ts), Joe Sample (p), Roy Gaines (g on #1 & 4), Jimmy Bond (b), Stix Hooper (d).
Recorded at Pacific Enterprises Inc./Rex Studios, Los Angeles, May 24, 1961
Personnel on "Lookin' Ahead":
Same personnel except Roy Gaines.
Recorded at Pacific Enterprises Inc. / Rex Studios, Los Angeles,
January 7 (#7,9,10,11,13,14 & 15) & 19 (#8 & 12), 1962
Recorded at Pacific Enterprises Inc./Rex Studios, Los Angeles, 17 April (#16) & May 21 (#17), 1962
Original recordings produced by Richard Bock
Audio engineering by Richard Bock
Album covers and photographs by Woody Woodward
This CD release produced by Jordi Pujol
Stereo · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered
Notes on "Freedom Sounds":
"The first album by the Jazz Crusaders (which started an extensive series for Pacific Jazz) introduced the colorful quintet. With trombonist Wayne Henderson and tenor saxophonist Wilton Felder giving the ensembles a unique sound, the group (also featuring regular members pianist Joe Sample and drummer Stix Hooper along with guests Jimmy Bond on bass and guitarist Roy Gaines) managed to strike a balance between creative hard bop and accessible soul-jazz. In addition to their version of "Theme From Exodus" (hoping to jump on the bandwagon created by Eddie Harris' hit rendition), the Jazz Crusaders perform originals by Felder, Henderson, and Sample ("Freedom Sound")."
Notes on "Lookin' Ahead":
"The Jazz Crusaders' second recording is most notable for the introduction of Wayne Henderson's "The Young Rabbits," the best-known of the seven group originals which are performed on this LP along with "Song of India" and Leonard Bernstein's "Tonight." The tenor-trombone frontline created by Wilton Felder and Henderson, along with the funky yet swinging playing of pianist Joe Sample, drummer Stix Hooper and bassist Jimmy Bond on this hard-to-find set made the group instantly recognizable and surprisingly popular from the start."
Both by Scott Yanow - All Music Guide
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