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Album Review

For listeners willing to overlook the fact that this Crusaders retrospective begins the story in 1970 — nine years after the combo began recording excellent hard bop and soul-jazz — the two-disc set Gold is just as good and nearly as thorough as the 1996 four-disc box Way Back Home. (Since the running time is only 17 seconds shy of 160 minutes, it's truly jam-packed.) Focusing on the '70s allows the set to dwell considerably on each record the group released during the decade that produced its most popular (although not most rewarding) music. After grabbing a pair of tracks from the Crusaders' two Chisa LPs of 1970-1971, the set moves on to the Blue Thumb years with multiple selections from every main album of the '70s — 1, The 2nd Crusade, Scratch, Chain Reaction, Free as the Wind. The material is primarily fusion and jazz-funk, moving into crossover jazz by the second disc, and while the group never quite matched great themes with great grooves, this is the easiest way to get to the heart of their discography. (Rare groove fanatics may agree or disagree with the inclusion of the shortened 12" version of "Street Life," although it still clocks in north of five minutes.)

Customer Reviews

whet can you say

these guy were bad back in the day,just good jazz music from joe,wilton and the crew,don't forget randy on street life,just good music...peace Hector V.

Excellent Buy

This album is well worth $15 and then some. I still consider myself new to jazz but this cd is awesome!!! Many standouts but my favorite is Lilies of the Nile.

Bringing it together!

These fine gentlemen did what they loved best - making music and making the world a smaller place for all of us. A dream and a gift for us all. My how the world has changed since they carved their first tunes - but you can hear it and feel it now thanks to this fine double set. So many white kids in Louisiana have soul thanks to Joe, Stix, Wilton, Wayne and then Robert "Pops" Popwell and Larry Carlton. Their jouney began in 1961, the year I was born, and I'm still chasing them down. Just bought Rainbow Seeker (Joe Sample) as well.


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
Gold, The Crusaders
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