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Wilton Felder

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Wilton Felder spent over 30 years with the group known as the Jazz Crusaders (and later the Crusaders). In the mid-'50s while in high school in Houston, Felder, Joe Sample, and Stix Hooper became the founding members of the group, which soon picked up Wayne Henderson as an additional member. Felder moved to Los Angeles with the other musicians in the late '50s, and by 1961 they were recording for Pacific Jazz as the Jazz Crusaders. Felder's soulful blues-based tone and hard bop style fit well in the popular band. Around 1968, he started doubling on electric bass and backed many top players outside of the group on that instrument. His own solo albums (for World Pacific in 1969, MCA, and Par) generally found him cast in a Grover Washington, Jr. mold and did not catch on. Felder remained with the Crusaders until their end in the late '80s and had a reunion with Wayne Henderson in the '90s in a new version of the group. ~ Scott Yanow

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31 August 1940 in Houston, TX

Years Active:

'50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s