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Chain Reaction

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Album Review

One of the tastiest concoctions of the mid-'70s jazz-fusion era, Chain Reaction finds the Crusaders at the top of their form. The compositions are both accessible and memorable, and the playing is uniformly excellent. Guitarist Larry Carlton delivers some of his finest licks and funkified rhythm work. Wayne Henderson shows there is a place in fusion for the trombone. Wilton Felder does double duty, delivering smoking saxophone lines and funky bass riffs. Joe Sample's Fender Rhodes piano provides a solid chordal foundation and great solos. And the stickman, Stix Hooper, keeps the groove solid. The band employs a variety of rhythms and tempos, and gives the members plenty of room to strut their individual and collective stuff. In fact, "collective" may be the key word here, for this is the sound of a band, not just a group of guys thrown together for a recording session. Chain Reaction was one of the albums that helped lure young, rock and soul-oriented listeners over to check out the jazz side, and should not be missed by those interested in the more accessible, funky side of fusion.

Customer Reviews

A crisp, tightly woven collage

Chain Reaction, as the predecessor to Free As The Wind, was a highlight for The Crusaders. With the jazz-funk/pop-fusion genre gathering momentum, Chain Rection wove tightly written songs, intelligent arrangements, crisp brass lines, catchy melodies, beautiful and subtle story-telling solos, with masterfully tight musicianship. This benchmark recording represented a state-of-arrival for theses 5-star, heavyweight jazz artists and captures not only their deep respect for flawless musicianship, but a love of and excitement for the fun and sheer joy of this phase of contemporary jazz.

Classic Crusaders

Of all the Crusaders' recordings, this is my favorite. From the funk of Chain Reaction to the horn duets of Rainbow Visions, this recording never fails to please my ears and tastes. If only the current 'Smooth Jazz' (barf!) recordings had followed this vein!

Tasteful and Beautiful record!

This is one of my sentimental favorites. I can remember buying this LP after seeing the Crusaders on the Midnight Special TV show in the 70's. That is when I first discovered Larry Carlton. What a great guitarist and artist. He was definitely an important musician in the West Coast music scene in LA, he is responsible for countless Legendary recordings. Larry Carlton is the Man!!!!


Formed: 1960 in Houston, TX

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

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...
Full Bio
Chain Reaction, The Crusaders
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  • $5.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Crossover Jazz
  • Released: 1975

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