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Finest Hour

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Album Review

After a career that spanned the '60s with a number of releases on Pacific Jazz records as the Jazz Crusaders, the beginning of the '70s found the band dropping the jazz moniker from their name and moving toward the more commercially accessible pop/R&B crossover audience. These nine selections are taken from seven albums originally released on the Blue Thumb and MCA labels recorded between 1971 and 1979 with a live cut featuring B.B. King from 1981. The Crusaders have a lot of material still available featuring both incarnations with this compilation containing a worthy sample from the second half of their career. For a closer inspection of the earlier Jazz Crusaders, seek out Live at the Lighthouse 66 on Pacific Jazz.

Biography

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...
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Finest Hour, The Crusaders
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